What a Week

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I decided that my second post-marathon week was a good time to get back into the swing of full blown workouts – a week off was quite enough!

I’ve started on my quest to be in what I refer to as “personal trainer shape.” I definitely lack in the upper body and core department! Here’s how Week 1 went down:

Monday: Upper Body Strength Training Day 1 (Chest, Shoulders, Biceps), plus 10 minutes on the elliptical to loosen up my lower body for stretching, and abs.

Tuesday: Ran 5 miles

Wednesday: Upper Body Strength Training Day 2 (Triceps, Back), abs, and 5 mile run.

Thursday: Power Basic Yoga

Friday: REST!

Saturday: Walked 3 miles.

Sunday: Ran/Walked 4 miles

Phew! I’m ready to take on Week 2 – but with a minor change to my schedule.

No running. My calf that I’ve been going on and on about all week is still not feeling like running for me. When I do try to run on it, my form suffers, and I get pain in strange places like my foot and shin. So, I am going to suck it up and take Monday through Friday of this week completely off of running. I will instead either ride the stationary bike, or the arc trainer.

Between no runs, and a massage that I have scheduled for tomorrow night, I’m hoping my legs will be up to normal running again come Saturday or Sunday. I’m playing it safe here because it is getting better. I can walk normal and stairs aren’t agonizing anymore – but it still acts up when I run, so I know that the only way to heal it 100% is to not run on it.

I’ll probably sneak in a couple of lunch time walks and/or doggy walks this week too – since it’s supposed to be gorgeous all week! Smile

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In other news – did anyone else have an incredible weekend like I did?

Yesterday started with that 3 mile walk, followed up by an amazing trip to Boston for lunch with Jess, Jolene, and Meaghan. LOVE these ladies – we had lunch at Snappy Sushi and chatted for a good 3 hours. It was so much fun – I feel like we’ve all been friends for so long, since we just fall into a perfect chatty friendly comfort zone. I’m pretty sure none of us wanted to leave, if only we could sit and talk and eat sushi all. day. long.

MeaghanSamJessSamMeaghanJo

Pictures shamelessly stolen from Jess Winking smile

Awesome times, can’t wait to see these ladies again – SOON!

Then I had to rally for fun times #2 of the day – dinner with Jen and Paul. They made an incredible boiled dinner – complete with corned beef from Whole Foods. I’ve never had Whole Foods meat before – holy, it was delicious. We sat, and ate, and talked, and ate some more for a good two hours! Then me, Jen, and Alison (sorry if I spelled your name wrong!) walked to the Irish pub down the street from Jen and Paul’s house for a couple of beers, where we sat and talked and talked and talked some more.

Funny how that’s what us girls do, isn’t it? I never get tired of talking LOL

Today I woke up (kind of late – staying out til 1:30 a.m. will do that) to a beautifully sunshiny day! After studying for a couple of hours, I headed out into the beauty for some yard work (aka cleaning up after my dog and filling in all the holes she dug!). I was in running capris and a tee shirt all day – amazing!

My legs felt great thanks to this little contraption that I used at Jen and Paul’s house:

Medidyne Pro Stretch

Medi Dyne Pro Stretch

But, alas, not good enough to run the entire 4 miles. Hence, my decision to take a few days off. I also bought one of these because it feels amazing.

I wound down the afternoon with some stretching out on my deck, with a “tropical slushy” that I created!

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Then later in the afternoon it was a beer on the deck with mom before dinner! I love being able to spend so much time outside!

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How was your weekend? Anything exciting or particularly awesome happen to you?

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Sweat to Street Week 3

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Welcome to Sweat to Street Sunday’s!

Each week my fabulously fit co-hosts and I will link up with one everyday outfit AND one fitness outfit that we love!

"Fashion" "Fitness" "FitFluential" "Fashion Link Up" "Fitness Clothing"
Meet Your Hosts!
Family and Life in Las Vegas (Emily)
Wild Things RUN Free (Charlotte)
Running and Cupcakes (Samantha)
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! Each week we encourage you to post one workout outfit and one outfit you wore that isn’t fitness related.

Every week we spotlight one awesome blogger who links up with us in the previous week! Our way of thanking you for sharing your fabulous/fun/fitness style!

This week’s featured blogger:

Gorgeous Maria from A Life to Bragg About

a life to Bragg about

Link-up Suggestions:

Remember if you don’t link up, we can’t choose you to be next week’s featured blogger!

This week we had some beautiful weather here in Little Rhody so I busted out some spring fashion! I absolutely love the pants I’m wearing – they’re so comfy, and fit perfect.

PinkShirtOutfit2

Side ponytail courtesy of 1981

My sweat outfit this week is what I wore to my second yoga class. I took a pic before I wore it since I figured you don’t really want to see what it looked like after! Winking smile I love wearing my run capris to yoga – they wick the sweat away perfectly!

Sweat Outfit

We are so excited to see all the fashions that are shared each week!

 



Giving Back

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I’ve been running for almost 2 years now. (Where does the time go?)

In those two years I’ve run 22 races (say WHAT?).

In those two years I’ve worked  0 races. (Bad.)

That’s all about to change:

Boston Marathon Volunteer Acceptance

I am volunteering at the BOSTON MARATHON!!!! I am beside myself with excitement. I didn’t do this on my own though – to be honest, I had no idea how to get in on a volunteer gig for any race, but now that I do, I plan on doing it more often.

I’d like to send a huge thank you to Janine from The Purple Giraffe.  She is a fellow FitFluential Ambassador, fellow beer lover and runner, and all around awesome gal. (Remember, I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with her in February after the Half at the Hamptons). She wrote about this opportunity on Facebook a while back and I jumped all over it. Thank you Janine! I can’t wait for April 16th.

So, if you are running the Boston Marathon, look for me at Hydration Station Number 5!

See you on April 16th!

Have you ever volunteered at a race before? What was your experience?

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“Tessie”–Dropkick Murphys

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Tonight I ran 5 miles again. Rather than bore you with the details of the run, again, I’m limiting my tale to one mile.

Specifically, Mile 4.

You see, I was plodding along the bike path, happy to be having some relatively pain free, albeit slow, miles when this song came on:

“In 2004, the Boston-area Celtic punk group Dropkick Murphys recorded a cover of "Tessie," released on an EP of the same name. The Murphys said it was their intent to "bring back the spirit of the Rooters and to put the Red Sox back on top." The goal of the Murphys was realized when later that year the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.” (From Wikipedia)

I have mentioned to you guys what a ridiculously huge Red Sox fan I am, right? As in watch every possible home game (mostly on TV because lets face it – tickets are expensive, and the beer is even more expensive). My boss also has season tickets to the Pawtucket Red Sox – minor league, yes, but it’s often where the major players go when they need to rehab, and I just so happen to have first dibs on tickets so I’ve seen Josh Beckett rehab, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, etc… it’s pretty freaking cool…but I digress…

The version of this song that is in my iPod is from the Dropkick Murphy’s Live Album Live on Lansdowne (Boston, MA).

The second that song came on it was like my legs just came alive. You see the live version immediately starts in on the piano part with Ken Casey yelling “Take it away Jeffrey” (as in Jeff DeRosa – the piano and every other instrument other people in the band don’t play player…).

And now that you know more about this song and the Dropkick Murphy’s than you’ve probably ever cared to know…back to my run.

I was FLYING. My legs kicking out from under me like I haven’t run in weeks! I was singing and smiling and even had goose bumps (yes I am one of THOSE crazy sports fans – or maybe it was pain free speedy legs?).

It was amazing.

Next thing I know that mile is over and I ran it in 9:17. And what about my calf? No problem. Seriously.

It felt amazing the blow off the cobwebs and get a fast mile in after my last two frustrating runs.

And now, 3 hours post run? Everything still feels great. My abs/upper body hurt more from two days worth of strength training than my legs. It’s crazy.

Here’s to hoping I’m singing the same tune tomorrow! Yoga tomorrow, then more running this weekend. Fingers crossed it all holds up!

Do you have a specific song that just gets you cranking, no matter how you feel?

P.S. 5 miles, 52:32, 10:30 average pace. 2:22 faster than yesterdays run, 28 seconds per mile better pace. Things are looking up! Woohoo!

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Just Focus

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Sounds simple enough, right? I realized it 4.25 miles into a 5 mile run.  Here’s a quickie run down of my 2nd post-marathon run for ya, then I must be off to bed. Up early for the gym tomorrow for my first double workout day – triceps, back, and abs in the morning followed by 5 more miles at night!

Mile 1: Immediately felt a bit “gimpy” when I started, but I had to force myself to control my speed, so that felt good. 10:04 – Stop and stretch calves and hamstrings.

Mile 2: This calf “thing” I have going on makes going downhill harder than flat land or uphill – you know this makes me sad Sad smile . Slowed down on the downhill to a pace that felt comfortable on the calf. 10:27 – Stopped and stretched again, mostly because I received a text (I normally silence my phone, but forgot) and wanted to check to make sure it wasn’t my mother.

Mile 3: I am pushing the pace again, so I have to force myself to slow down again.  Goal pace was 10:30 (or slower, if necessary). 10:28

Mile 4: 3.5 miles I realize I’m panting, and force myself to walk until I regain my breath, I was pushing way too hard. Once I regained control of my breathing I started running again. Now I’m having pain in my left foot and starting to get generally discouraged and pissed off. Running downhill now, but it hurts. 11:05

Mile 5: Walk from 4.1-4.25 to think and try to regain control of my own brain. Something “clicks” at 4.25 – I straightened up my body (I realized I was very tense and leaning forward), rolled my shoulders back, tucked my hips straight up under my body, and ran. I looked straight ahead, only glancing down on occasion to make sure I wasn’t going to trip or fall in a pothole. The best 3/4 of a mile I’ve run in a long time. Still a rough mile 12:48

Overall pace: 10:58. A lot slower than I care to run 5 miles, but I finished the miles and learned a lesson.

Don’t focus on the one thing that may be going wrong in your run – focus on the big picture: maintain posture and proper form, and the rest will come.

Post-run I stretched, foam rolled, and ate a big helping of some rice/bean/tomato concoction that I created. That along with some rolling pin action on the calf, and compression socks, I’m feeling pretty good right now.

Ready to tackle tomorrow’s 5-miler – focused.

How do you break yourself out of a rut in the middle of a run or workout?

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Monday Love: Spring Fever Edition

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Happy Monday everyone! What a great day – and with spring just about a week away, why not celebrate with a Spring Fever edition of Monday Love?! Here’s what I’m loving today:

1) The Weather.  Did you expect anything else? A record was broke in the old weather record books today, where a high of 72 degrees was recorded at the airport! 72 degrees, in Rhode Island, in March?! HOORAY FOR GLOBAL WARMING! Winking smile

happy20sun

2) Lunch Time Walks. See #1? Right – I was walking in a SUNDRESS and SWEATING. It was amazing. I walked 1.63 miles in 28 minutes – not really a speed walk, but my legs needed to loosen up. They’re still feeling the effects of post-marathon, yesterday’s 7-miler, and my first yoga class. I also spent 10 minutes on the arc trainer at the gym – then stretched and foam rolled. Things are feeling MUCH better.

3) A new weights workout. My little bro is helping me get into what I call “personal trainer shape.” I figure if I’m going to train people how to work out – I better know what the heck I’m doing right? He sent me to the gym with three sets of three exercise each for my chest, shoulders, and biceps, along with some pretty serious ab work. I completed it all in an hour and fifteen minutes – and I feel AWESOME.

Arnold

4) Daylight Savings Time. I am so happy that it stays light out now until 7 p.m. That means NO MORE TREADMILL! All of my runs will be in the great outdoors!

Daylight Savings

HAHA This cracked me up. I FEEL GREAT!

5) Saturday lunch with the girls. I cannot WAIT, like beyond excited, to see Jess and Jo again, and to FINALLY meet Meaghan. Lookout Boston, you don’t know what’s coming your way!

And finally:

6) Lights by Ellie Goulding. This song is incredibly addictive. It makes me happy. It makes me want to sing and dance, crank the music, open the windows, and just celebrate life and beautiful weather!

What are you loving on this Monday?!

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The First One

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Today I ran, for the first time since Rock N Roll New Orleans.

This run reminded me of a few things:

1) I am not Superwoman.

2) Always go outside before running, to check the weather.

3) My neighborhood is freakin’ hilly.

I checked the temp around 12:45 this afternoon and it said 48 degrees, feels like 42. I knew it was windy and quickly decided on tights, tank, and jacket.

Fail! I was too warm by about a mile in.

I practically bolted out the door, excited to finally be running again. I immediately slowed down to my intended pace (10:30-10:45, aka long run pace).

Success! Pre-run decision to keep it slow and easy.

I never mentioned this in my post-marathon recap – but I couldn’t walk normal for 3 days after the race. My right leg felt very weird, to the point on Monday I was limping, Tuesday I was kinda limping, and by Wednesday I was walking mostly normal. It felt like pain through my knee, down around my calf, to the inside of my ankle. I figured I tweaked something – a lot can happen over the course of 26 miles!

The twingieness (new word!) was still there yesterday before yoga, but it was gone after. This morning, it was there again.

1.5 miles into my run I stopped and stretched (to no avail). All of my muscles were sore – I definitely hit them in yoga like I don’t normally do! I almost threw in the towel and headed home, but figured it was too early in the game to make that decision, so I chugged along.

By 3.5 or so miles the legs finally loosened up but I could tell they still weren’t happy. It was too late by then, I was halfway through my intended 7 mile loop so I kept on.

About 4.5 miles in I had to stop again – this time to undo the zippers on the bottoms of my tights – I was just too warm.

The rest of the run went okay. I’m glad I did it. I won’t run tomorrow – then I start again, hopefully with no aches, pains, or otherwise, on a regular run schedule on Tuesday.

I’m still pretty sore right now – and when I get up from sitting I’m pretty stiff. Hopefully I can ease some of this tomorrow with some stretching after strength training so that I can run on Tuesday!

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In other news – I had an incredibly productive weekend.

I am now blogging to you from my desk, rather than the dining room table! I finally cleaned it up, took apart the old desk top computer, and got it all set up so I can study/blog/etc. comfortably.

I also cooked and baked! For dinner I made Iowa Girl Eats’ Buffalo Chicken Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese. Holy crow, this was so good! I will definitely be making it again!

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I also made a Cherry Almond Irish Soda Bread, inspired by a recipe from Gina at Running to the Kitchen. She made hers earlier this week, and I had literally been thinking I wanted to make one. When I saw she modified her recipe to include raisins, sugar, and other goodies – I knew exactly what I would do – cherries and almonds, two of my faves.

Here’s my take on the recipe:

Cherry Almond Irish Soda Bread

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 eggs, beaten 
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
  2. Combine flours, salt, sugar, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Add in cherries and almonds and toss to coat in flour mixture.
  4. Combine milk, almond extract, and egg in a small bowl and then pour into large bowl with the flour. 
  5. Bring wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula.
  6. Turn out onto floured surface and knead 5-10 times until dough just comes together, don’t over handle the dough.
  7. Form into a ball and place in Dutch oven or skillet.
  8. Score bread making an “X” on top with a serrated knife.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Let cool on a wire rack.

Notes:

Buttermilk can be made using 2 tablespoons lemon juice with regular milk.

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Hope you guys had as awesome of a weekend as I did! I’m looking forward to this week – temps in the 60’s ALL. WEEK. LONG.

WOOHOO!

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Sweat to Street Sunday: Week 2

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Welcome to Sweat to Street Sunday’s!

Each week my fabulously fit co-hosts and I will link up with one everyday outfit AND one fitness outfit that we love!

"Fashion" "Fitness" "FitFluential" "Fashion Link Up" "Fitness Clothing" Meet Your Hosts!
Family and Life in Las Vegas (Emily)
Wild Things RUN Free (Charlotte)
Running and Cupcakes (Samantha)
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! Each week we encourage you to post one workout outfit and one outfit you wore that isn’t fitness related.

Every week we spotlight one awesome blogger who links up with us in the previous week! Our way of thanking you for sharing your fabulous/fun/fitness style!

This week’s featured blogger:

Madeline from Food Fitness Family

"FitFluential" "Fitness" "Featured Sweat to Streets Blogger"


Link-up Suggestions:

Remember if you don’t link up, we can’t choose you to be next week’s featured blogger!

We are so excited to see all the fashions that are shared each week!

This week we had some RIDICULOUSLY (awesome) warm weather, so I busted out the spring clothes!

Tank Tops

Tank Tops Bacj

Whole Outfit

And, since I’m still recovering from New Orleans, there wasn’t much sweating going on this week. I did go to yoga class yesterday, but forgot to photograph my outfit entirely. So, instead of an entire outfit, I’m going to share with you one item that I think (hope) is going to be crucial to my next marathon.

Saucony Mirage 2 – These shoes are VERY similar to my Kinvaras in that they have a 4mm heel to toe drop, and they’re light; however, they’re a little heavier than the Kinvaras because they have a bit more cushioning, which will hopefully help with the foot pain/soreness I had in New Orleans. I’ll be testing these out for the first time this afternoon, stay tuned for more details!

Mirage II-1Mirage II-2Mirage II-3

So, what did you wear this week?! Show me whatcha got!

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My First Yoga Class

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Today I attended my first ever yoga class, Power Basic. From the studio’s website:

Power Basic:  This class is geared toward the beginner that desires a challenge while enjoying a non-judgmental place to try something that might be brand new to them. This class revolves around various sequences of poses that flow from one to another while focusing on breath. The room is HOT with the temperature set to approximately 90 degrees to to aid in creating deeper flexibility and detoxification. Options are shown to modify poses to suit all levels.

I woke up this morning a little anxious, a little nervous, a little excited. I didn’t know what to expect, but honestly I was expecting a room full of thin, Gumby-like people that made me look like I’ve never practiced yoga in my life.

I started the morning with one of my typical green smoothies. Their website says “practice yoga on an empty stomach” – well I can’t do anything on an empty stomach – so I drank it 90 minutes before class, making sure it had plenty of time to digest.

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Pre-yoga breakfast of champions!

I arrived at the studio about 15 minutes ahead of time, still feeling a little uneasy. Not only about the aforementioned possibility of Gumby-like people, but because the only yoga mat I own is a Wii fit yoga mat, and I was dressed in running clothes (capris and a tank top).

It didn’t take long for the unease to settle. I walked to the front desk and proclaimed “I’ve never been here before.” The girl working knew exactly who I was, thanks to a message I had left the day before inquiring about how to redeem my Groupon. She got me set up in the system, told me where everything was, and sent me on my way.

I entered the studio, found a nice spot at the back of the class, rolled out my mat, and set up my towel and water. Then I sat down and observed. No one in that room looked any different than me, and most of them were using the rental mats provided by the studio, so my Wii Fit mat didn’t make a world of difference. I also noticed everyone else’s outfits looked very similar to mine. Okay, good, I don’t look ridiculous wearing running clothes to yoga class.

The instructor, Julie, came over, introduced herself to me and I made sure she knew it was my first yoga class. She asked me if I practice regularly, and I told her that I do, just at home. She is a super nice person – and a fantastic instructor.

Right before beginning instruction Julie asked if anyone had specific areas they wanted to work one – one girl piped up and said “hamstrings” and I chimed in and said “hips”. Perfect, lets work on those running muscles!

Class started nice and easy – some sitting postures, and sun salutations, before moving into more technical poses. I was sweating before she even began, but by about halfway through the class I had to spread my towel across the front of my mat so I wouldn’t slip off from all the sweat. She made sure she really incorporated a few excellent hip openers – like lizard pose.  And the only person other than the instructor that was truly Gumby like in the class was the girl that was working the front desk. I actually felt pretty good about myself that I didn’t have to modify any poses, or take a break!

The relaxation at the end of the class was amazing. When I first laid down, my lower back ached, but by concentrating on my breath and really giving into my body, I relaxed and my back found it’s way to the floor.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to take a yoga class! I loved every minute of it – and have already signed up for the same class this coming Thursday!

Now I’m chowing down a delicious lunch before getting on with the rest of my Saturday.

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Whole wheat bagel spread with Laughing Cow Chipotle Fresco, spinach, and tomato. Apple Cinnamon Chobani – my new FAVORITE flavor!

Hope your weekend is going great!

Have you ever taken a yoga class? Were you feeling like I did before it?

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Five for Friday: A Northerner in New Orleans

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I don’t really have any ideas for recapping my trip to New Orleans – so I’ll just give you 5 highlights (other than my kick ass race!).

Highlight #1

Yummy drinks (and monkeys on surfboards) (and shark bites). It was 80 and HUMID on Friday, so I was craving summer time drinks.

Monkey DrinkSurfing Monkey

Shark Bite

Highlight #2

Really cool old stuff to look at.

Old Building 1

Old Building 3

Old Building 2

Tracks

Highlight #3

Everything was SO GREEN! Coming from the land of winter deadness, this made me SO HAPPY!

Red Flowers & Boat

Pink Flower

Highlight #4

Avenue Pub. Yup this place deserves a highlight of it’s own. Apparently draft beer and micro-brews are not really a “thing” in New Orleans. This pub was recommended to us and completely lived up to its expectations – thank goodness, we were really looking for some good beer. Me, Coachy, and Tim headed here for a brew after the expo. We met a guy there too, who lived in Rhode Island for several years! What a small world.

Avenue Pub Taps

Highlight #5

The food, of course. I was too busy eating to take many pics of my food.

Stop #1 was the Napoleon House for lunch on Friday. I had a muffuletta – which I’ve never had before. It was delicious!

Muffaletta

And this beer that just begged to be tried because of the name!

Blackened Voodoo

Friday night dinner was at the Bourbon House where I took one picture of my dinner and it came out crappy. We also had calamari appetizer which was AMAZING. The dipping sauce that came with it was this creamy, spicy, bowl of complete deliciousness. I did manage to take a picture of the inside of the restaurant!

Bourbon House Lights

The lights were so cool, and I was intrigued by the ceiling fans on a pulley system. I’ve seen that one other place before, but I can’t remember where.

I took it easy on my stomach on Saturday – I didn’t want to risk eating anything crazy the day before the race. Nothing exciting here – some chicken tortilla wraps for lunch and pizza for dinner.

Sunday, post-race dinner was at a place called Mother’s Restaurant. The food in there was begging to be tried – there was always a long line to get in! Luckily we didn’t have to wait.

Again, no pictures, but it was post race dinner and I was stahhhhhving. I had red beans and rice, jambalaya, a wicked good bloody Mary, and topped it off with a serious piece of pecan pie. I can totally understand why there was always a line outside of this place!

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Between the city itself and the race – I definitely plan on returning to New Orleans!

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