The Return of Monday Love (And Me!)

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Good morning and Happy Monday my friends! I am pleased to say that I am back and ready to regularly blog again. Phew, does life really get in the way of fun sometimes or what?! Winking smile

Lets get right to it, shall we?

1) Spring has sprung. We have been having some of THE BEST spring weather the past couple of weeks. It made my move way easier than it would’ve been if it was cold out, it made the Newport 10 Miler and post race festivities way more enjoyable, and I’ve been sleeping with the window open!

Side note: Race recap on the Newport 10 Miler to follow soon…

2) Spending time with good friends. I got to see both of my best friends this weekend. Friday  night I went to dinner with my friend Jen and my mom, then Jen and I spent a little time spring shopping and outfitting my apartment with things like fun hand soaps and candles. Yesterday my friend Sara and I went on a 3 mile walk to benefit the United Way Food Bank in Connecticut then spent a few hours together over lunch and a couple of drinks catching up. It’s always great when you get to spend so much time with your very good friends.

3) A fresh start. April was a crazy, crazy month for me. Sickness, having to move again, and so much other crazy nonsense in between. Now it’s May, I’m in my new place, I’m feeling healthy, and I’m ready for a fresh start. I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that pushed me through April and helped me get through so that I could be here today, healthy and happy.

4) 2 years of blogging. You awesome readers have been supporting me in this little space in the internet for 2 years now! I totally missed my actually blogiversary (April 29th) because I was so caught up in my move. But I want you all to know how grateful I am that you are always here for me, reading, commenting, and supporting. I wouldn’t continue to do this if it wasn’t for you guys, so thank you!

I hope you guys have an amazing Monday! Mine is shaping up to be great – I’m blogging again, I have a client this afternoon then some time in between to get in a great workout before having to work again, and it’s gorgeous out. Enjoy the day!

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Monday Love: The Return

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Happy Monday! It’s freezing out there today, but the sun is shining and that makes me so happy! I love it when I can be super happy on a Monday, after all, isn’t that why I started this feature?!

1) RunCupcake Fitness is taking off! I just signed a 3 month client and his wife for 3 training sessions per week, and I also obtained an online-only client who’s getting ready for a wedding in August!

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2) Feeling oh so sore… Trips to Vermont, blizzards, and life in general kept me away from kettlebell training for the last couple of weeks. Saturday I had an opportunity to workout with my friend Becky and teach her some kettlebell stuff. The best part for me is that I did 100 swings with a 16 kg kettlebell – that’s a new personal record! I am definitely feeling this workout today, I love it!

100 Swings 16 kg

3) Later sunsets! It’s 6 p.m. and it’s not completely dark out yet, that means spring is on the way! Only 19 days til we spring ahead – oh boy, I cannot wait! Now that I’m training for Reach the Beach I will need to start running in the morning and in the evening, so a little more light at night is a big help! Plus I am SO over winter. Anyone else?

4) Homemade sushi. The bf decided to try his hand at sushi making and let me tell you, he did a fantastic job! We had it for dinner last night and lunch again today. We share a common HUGE love for sushi, so I feel like this is going to become a staple in our lives…

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5) It’s BASEBALL SEASON! Kinda. All Boston Red Sox players reported to Spring Training last week. The very first Red Sox exhibition game is Thursday! And to top it all off, the bf got me my very first Alex & Ani bracelet for Valentine’s Day, an excellent way to celebrate the opening of baseball season:

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What are YOU loving on this Monday?!

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Monday Love: The Return…

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Hey ya’ll! Why am I speaking …err, typing…with a southern accent? Who knows, it’s all good!

Yes, I am in an incredibly good mood today. Why you ask? Let me run it down for you…Monday Love style!

1) After 6 incredibly long days…Kevin returns home from TX today. This is the longest time we’ve ever spent apart and it was incredibly difficult. Even Lexi is depressed – she was really mopey yesterday, she didn’t want to do anything. No squirrel, no playing at the park, nothing. So needless to say it’s going to be a giant happy fest tonight when Kevin’s happy, smiley face walks through those airport doors to us waiting for him in the car!

2) I am on a GIANT adrenaline high right now. I’m pretty sure I’m typing 100 words per minute …wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. You see, last week I vowed to take the week off of workouts so that I could recover from this sinus infection that knocked the life (and wind) out of me. So getting back into it today with a real ass kicker was exactly what I needed:

Started with 10 minutes on the stair climber, then:

Decreasing rep, increasing weight pyramid (15, 12, 10, 8, and 6 reps respectively)

Bicep curl to overhead press: 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5#

Ab superset #1:

Inchworm Plank (5 – they’re so HARD)
Overhead scissor (12 per side)
Raised leg crunch w/2kg medicine ball (12)

Row to tricep kickback: 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5#

Ab superset #2:

Roman chair bent leg lifts (12)
Bosu mountain climbers (slow version) (12 per side)
Leg lifts (12)

Assisted pull ups: 100, 90, 80, 70, 60#

Ab superset #3:

Stability ball sit ups (12)
Stability ball roll ins w/push up (10)
Russian twists w/6# medicine ball (12 per side)

Assisted dips: 90, 80, 70, 60, 50#

3) It’s 70 degrees out! November 12th and it is 70 degrees! Whoohoo! After I finish plowing down my giant lunch of pasta, lentil meatballs, and ciabatta bread – I’m going to take Lexi for a walk so she can (hopefully) go play in the park for a bit before I go back to work.

4) “Gangnam Style” Oh yes. That very strange song sung by that very strange little man. I LOVE it. It’s such an amazing workout song! So much so that I had to Instagram my Pandora as soon as it came on during my workout today. I was on my last ab superset, with dips to go, and I was feeling tired. This song totally re-energized me!

Gangnam Style

That’s all for today! I hope everyone is having an AMAZING Monday!

What are you loving today?

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Monday Love: Something Old, Something New…

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Monday, Monday. I certainly don’t dread Mondays like I used to – perhaps because I now like my job? Couldn’t be… Winking smile

Here’s what I’m up to and loving this week – the Something Old, Something New edition!

1) Finally climbing that rock wall. I’m afraid of heights, and I tried to climb this same rock wall a few years ago. After getting 25% of the way up, I chickened out and quit. Yesterday, I think I made it about 90% of the way. The height scared me a bit, but more my legs were giving out after having just climbed a mountain!

Mt. Washington Take 2 076

2) Climbing Mt. Washington – take 2. This year my mother and I brought along 3 Mt. Washington newbies – Kevin, my brother, and her friend/horseback riding trainer. We had an amazing time – joking, laughing, eating, playing games… It took us almost 7 hours to climb, given that the first 2 miles were extremely wet due to almost 3 inches of rain that fell on Friday. It is always worth it to get to the top of the highest peak in the Appalachians though!

Mt. Washington Take 2 059

3) My new job. I worked 16 hours last week, and started my first 40 hour week today. It’s so different from anything I’m used to, so it’s a great challenge. I’m really liking my coworkers, and I’m learning so much from them! I’ve even gotten a few great compliments already. I’m truly looking forward to continuing on this journey of helping people become the fittest they can be.

4) Meeting/seeing blog friends. Rock and Roll Providence Half Marathon is this weekend and I’m so excited to finally meet Charlotte this weekend, as well as seeing Amy, Janine, Dani, and Robin again. I love this little bloggy world and I can’t wait to see/meet these ladies, have dinner in my hometown with them, and then run the streets of Providence together!

5) Six Pack Summer Move of the Week. I forgot to post one last week! My abs are coming along quite nicely – how about yours?! This weeks’ move is a favorite of mine – Flutter Kicks! Do them as many times as you can this week, I’ll be checking in with you later in the week!

DRILL-flutter-kick

What are you loving this week?

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Monday Love: Wicked Freakin’ Awesome Edition

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I haven’t had one of these posts in a while! It’s Monday and it is a GREAT day! Here we go…things I am loving on this great Monday!

1) Wicked Freakin’ Awesome weekend with Kevin. Because of his job it’s rare that he gets an entire weekend off – so since he had this entire weekend off we booked it solid. From breakfast and Cliff Walk in Newport, to Saturday night’s UFC fight, to a PawSox game yesterday, we were go, go, going all weekend! I even found time to create some wicked cupcakes…I suppose I should share the recipe. We also spent a considerable amount of time with my brother, which is always a good time!

Enjoying a gorgeous day in Newport

2) The best shin update EVER. I got right on the phone this morning, and after over an hour of not being able to get through to the doctor, I finally got a live person. The verdict is:

The X-Ray came back normal!

I am beside myself happy, and yes we are going for a run tonight. I only ran once last week, and the time off definitely did me some good. This also means that I’ll be able to run alongside Kevin as he runs his first half-marathon on Saturday, which is so much better than spectating.

3) Paying the bills. Who says paying the bills can’t be wicked freakin’ awesome? You guys know I live at home, with my parents, because of financial difficulties. Well today I paid off and closed FIVE CREDIT CARDS. And I have a very solid plan in place to finish off the rest. Oh. happy. day.

4) A new and improved marathon training plan. More on this later…Between life and injuries, my thoughts on distance running have changed considerably, as I told you guys the other day. This plan will be shorter, with a new finish goal, something that will still make me extremely happy and ready to move on from marathons to whatever may be next…

Now it’s time for me to get a haircut, then go for a run!

I hope everyone had an amazing Monday.


Manic Monday

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I know I know, totally cliché – but totally true. I feel like I’ve been in a whirlwind all day! But we’re not going to let that get us down now are we?

Let’s talk about what I am currently loving on this Monday, shall we?

1) My new training plan. I took a training plan from Runner’s World, and I’m going to follow the basic concept. I’m going to look at some of the Hal Higdon plans – and probably do a combination of the two. Either way, this will be the plan I follow that gets me through the Jamestown Half, the Rock N Roll Providence Half, and Chicago.  I start tomorrow with an easy 4 miler (10ish pace).

2) Beach weather. I took Lexi to the beach on Saturday. Turns out she’s not a fan of the ocean. I don’t think she’s my dog Winking smile I can’t blame her though, the water temps right now are around 59 degrees. Brr. It felt so nice to walk barefoot down the beach though, oh how I love summer!

Lexi No Ocean

3) Simple homemade recipes. Homemade rice pilaf – recipe to follow later in the week/weekend.

Rice Pilaf

4) Passing the NASM Certified Personal Trainer practice exam on the first try. This is a giant confidence booster. Post-practice exam I went through and read up on the stuff I didn’t know well, and even made some flash cards. I have so many flash cards now:

5) My last week of reception duties at my job. I move into the new position next Tuesday. I’m embracing it for now, while I continue to search elsewhere (hello Saucony, I’m looking at you!).

What are YOU loving this Monday? Have anything exciting going on like trainer exams and job transfers? Tell me all about it!


Monday Love: Race Week Edition

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Hey hey everyone! Can you believe it – Cox Rhode Races half marathon is a short 5 days away! It’s going to be here before we know it!

With that being said, what better time than to offer up a “Race Week Edition” of my favorite way to beat a case of the Mondays? So, what am I loving this race week?

1) Completing a training schedule: strong, proud, and happy.

Happy Training Plan

2) Completing the final run of the training plan at a pace that will allow me a PR on Sunday. *Disclaimer* I am not trying to PR on Sunday. I am going to run with my friends and have fun. I am going to listen to my body so as to not reinjure my leg. If I get a PR out of the deal, that would be fantastic, but I’m not getting my hopes up.  (Side note: This exact race, last year, still holds my PR. So I may be thinking about it just a little bit.) I ran the first half of this run with Jess at a comfortable pace. Since she’s still healing she could only run 4, so I was left to my own devices for the second half. After convincing myself to finish the run (and not get in my car and drive home) I decided to throw in some speedy miles. It was hard, but surprisingly not too hard. I negative split the second half of this run by almost 5 minutes!

Final Cox Long Run

3) My dog. No matter what kind of day I had, she always cheers me up. I love having a dog – they truly are (wo)man’s best friend. (Super strange side not: When I typed the wo in parentheses Live Writer turned it into a suitcase? Strange.) Tonight was especially hilarious – she was so nutso when I got home. Running around with the most disgusting looking tennis ball I’ve ever seen, jumping, playing fetch with herself basically, while my parents dog just watched her from the deck.  sometimes I swear he thinks he’s babysitting her. And now, well, see for yourself:

Sleepy Lexi

She seems to be getting better since I wrote the other day that she was having some behavioral issues. She had basically thrown herself out of my bed a couple of weeks ago, but I put her blanky back up on my bed and brought her back in, and she’s happy. She’s a big time cuddlepuppy. When she can cuddle, she’s happy.

4) Quick, but effective, workouts. I’m pressed for time this week while getting ready to enjoy my mini stay-cation. I’ve got posts to set up (so I don’t leave you guys hanging while I’m unplugged – I’ve got some great guest posters lined up starting Friday!), I’ve got grown up crap to do (like make sure my bills are all paid, laundry, etc.), a hair cut on Thursday, you get the picture. Wicked busy, as always. So in order to save myself some time I decided I’d skip the gym this week; however, I’m not skipping working out. I created a great, fast, full body circuit that you can do at home when you’re pressed for time. All you need is a stability ball and a set of hand weights. I used 5 pounders – I don’t want to be too sore or worn out come race day! I did 3 total sets in 25 minutes (except I only managed 25 total push ups – those babies are HARD!) Stability Ball Circuit

Exercise Descriptions (Be sure the ball is supporting your upper back, neck, and head for all exercises that you’re laying on the ball. Raise your hips into a bridge position so your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees):

Bench Press – traditional bench press, only laying on the ball.

Supine Tricep extension

Hammer Curl – Sitting on the ball. Engage your core, make sure your feet are on the floor and your legs form a 90 degree angle.

Push-up: Make sure the ball is directly under your shins. Engage your core, don’t round or arch your back.

Wall Squats

Ball “Roll-Ins” – Assume push up position on the ball. Bring your knees to your chest (rolling the ball in) and move back out to push up position. That’s one rep.

5) Another giveaway. What’s that you say? Oh yes, I told you guys I’d have a giveaway a day this week, right? Well it’s a freakin party around here! Today’s giveaway is brought to you by the wonderful people over at Perky Jerky. Have you had this stuff yet? I’ve tried both, I prefer the turkey, and OMG, it is the most tender pre-packaged jerky I have ever eaten in my life. I buy it all the time to snack on, and today, the folks at Perky Jerky are being kind enough to give away 5 bags each of the beef and the turkey!

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They’re not kidding. Since I possess this bag of yumminess, and it’s taken every ounce of power in me to not devour all of the turkey jerky myself, this is going to be a 24-hour flash giveaway! This giveaway will end TOMORROW at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

How to enter: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

1) Follow Running and Cupcakes (look to your right – where it says “Follow Me”) (Required)

2) Tell me if you won which flavor you’d prefer – Beef or Turkey (Required)

3) Tweet about the giveaway. However you’d like! Just make sure you copy me (@runcupcake) and Perky Jerky (@perkyjerky), and link back to this post:

Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian Residents.

This giveaway will have TWO winners.

Giveaway ends at 9:30 eastern standard time Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

Good luck! I hope everyone had an amazing Monday!

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Monday Love: Random Style

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Hey everyone! I hope everyone had a great Easter (if you celebrate!) and weekend! My weekend was super busy – filled with cooking, cleaning, yard work, family time, and of course me and mom found time to squeeze in a pedicure too! I have a brain full of randomness to share with you in this edition of Monday love!

1) New (to me) chips. They’re like healthy Doritos – and SO YUMMY! Do you see that 16g of whole grains per SERVING?! And a serving is 13 chips, you can’t go wrong!

Healthy Doritos

2) Trying my hand a cupcake decorating. As much as I love to bake cupcakes, I’ve never really gotten into decorating because I didn’t have the tools. I did get a pretty cool decorating toolbox for Christmas, perfect for making carrots on top of carrot cupcakes (which, my brother raved as “Your best cupcakes ever.” Why thank you little bro.)

Carrot Cupcakes

3) Never “fully” growing up. Yesterday I was blowing bubbles with my cousin’s daughters (and trying to teach her 14 month old son how – all he wanted to do was eat the bubble wand). Today I found some delicious “kids” bars at the grocery store. Kids or not, these things are delicious, and the perfect pre-workout fuel. And I like them way better than grown up Clif Bars.

Clif Z Bar

4) Spending lots of time in the kitchen. I spent more time in the kitchen this weekend than I have in a long time. I baked cupcakes, I made quinoa stuffing with leeks and cherries, I basted asparagus in olive oil, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper then grilled it, and I roasted tomatoes and garlic (for the fun of it, the tomatoes were going to go bad, and I love the smell of roasted garlic).

Food Collage

5) Family time. I spent pretty much all day Saturday with my mom – we cooked, cleaned, cleaned up the yard, and got pedicures. Then yesterday was spent with both my mom’s and stepdad’s family. We don’t often get both sides of the family together on a holiday – and while it was a bit chaotic (my parents house is a little cramped when there’s 17 people {and 2 dogs} in it), it was great. Everyone ate, drank, chatted, laughed, and just had a fun time together.

6) Pain free (fast) running. I set out for 6 miles yesterday, uncertain of what I was going to do/how it was going to go. My legs felt great after my warm up so I decided on 4 mile repeats, then a cool down. I stretched, rolled, and iced post-run, and I feel great today. I still have at least 4 more physical therapy sessions to attend, but I think it’s already working wonders.  If only it could help with my breathing, which is a little off due to high pollen counts/not much running. I plan on re-introducing interval style speedwork this week to begin rebuilding my lungs. It shouldn’t take much.

Mile Repeats

You know the drill – tell me what YOU are loving on this Monday!

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Monday Love: Random Edition

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Happy Monday everyone! I’m feeling sort of random – and slightly scatterbrained – so tonight’s Monday Love is coming to you in a slightly scatterbrained and random fashion.

1) Yesterday, I RAN! For the first time in 6 days. I did what I told you guys I was going to do and took 6 entire days off of running and here’s what I came up with:2 Mile Leg Test

I’ll take it! The leg feels good, and I’m feeling confident that I am on the road to recovery and able to get back into full training mode again very, very soon.

2) Lemon. Everything lemon. Lemon ginger tea. Lemon water. Lemon in my iced tea. Lemon Larabar. Lemon risotto with citrus grilled shrimp. I’m obsessed and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

Raspberry Iced TeaLemon Lara Bar

3) “Oh, you fancy” Random Happy Hour with my mom and brother on a Saturday night. Complete with moldy cheese that I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have eaten (duh, dairy) and I think it made my tongue numb (I’m allergic to mold – sometimes I am really not that bright). But it was so good.

Oh You Fancy

4) Learning how to properly foam roll. HURTS. SO. GOOD. I have LOTS of adhesions, probably way too many. I am going to continue this trend of rolling out these bad, bad things in my muscles and get myself stronger!

(Picture Source)

Calf Foam Rolling

This one hurt the most – Perhaps I need to lay off the heels?

5) Strength training. I’m going to have to take some pics of my muscles for you guys! I’m on Week 3 of a two-time per week upper body power circuit (Day 1 works shoulders, biceps, and chest; Day 2 works triceps and back) – and I can already see a difference in muscle tone. I’m also doing core work 3 times per week, and will start adding in leg work this week, thanks to Jess’s recommendation. I feel so much stronger already, I can’t wait to see how this new full body strength helps improve my running!

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

What do you love this Monday?

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Monday Love: Marathon Training Edition

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HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE! Seriously, it was 72 here today. How can you NOT be in a good mood when it’s 72 in March?! All this great weather has me thinking about my next marathon (of course!) – Cox Rhode Races! Here’s what I’m loving so far into this marathon training:

1) Planlessness. Now I’m not going entirely planless – I’m going week by week, which makes me SO happy. Especially now that I’ve vowed to take a few days off of running until this calf heals.  Here’s what this week looks like:

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I’ll play the weekend by ear – depending on how my calf feels. Hopefully I’ll get a couple decent runs in and can get back to normal training next week.

2) Choosing my colors. Yeah, I’m ALREADY thinking of colors for this race. My shoes are white/black/silver/purple. Zensah compression sleeves come in purple – so I’m thinking black and purple this time.

Mirage II-1

Purple Calf Sleeves

Asics Core Singlet – I think this is the right color, I’m going to order it and hope it all matches! I love these singlets – I have 3 and they’re super comfy!

Core Singlet Purple

3) Massages. I finally got my post marathon massage tonight. Hurts. so. good. My incredibly terrible post RnR NOLA sunburn was one reason I put it off for so long. My massage therapist told me my calf is “cranky”, then loaded me up with Biofreeze and sent me home with instructions to hydrate extra, ice, and take Advil if necessary. Yikes, I did a good job this time.

4) Running my first “home-turf” marathon. This one is particularly exciting because none of my family or hometown close friends have been there when I’ve run a marathon. Now, I know a whole bunch of people who are coming to spectate and have lunch post-race. It’s going to be an amazing time! (Not to mention people like Coachy, Jess and her hubby, Jo and M, and many more who are also going to be there to run and spectate!)

5) I think I’ve *finally* found shorts. It’s times like this I’m not so grateful for my thighs (most of the time I love them – I know they’re super strong and powerful) but when it comes to buying shorts – no thigh love there. I have to have something that comes down at least mid-thigh (and I have pretty long legs), otherwise I chafe – Bad. So something with a 6” or so inseam is what I need – but I’m picky and I want spandex, not loose. Which limits my choices…but I’ve narrowed it down to:

Nike Tech Tight Shorts

Nike Shorts

The North Face Women’s GTD Short Tight 7"

North Face

Moving Comfort Women’s 7 1/2" Compression Short Moving Comfort

Yup, three choices. Oh, did I mention they have to have pockets? It’s a requirement, which makes my choices even slimmer. And yes, I realize they all pretty much look the same.

That’s why I’m hoping someone else has one of these and can give me some insight? Anyone have any experience with any of these three shorts? If so, what are your thoughts?

6) New (old) music. I finally offloaded my iTunes library from my old desktop computer onto my external hard drive – I know one thing: there’s 2000 something songs. What’s in there? I have no idea. I can’t wait to explore it and makes tons of new fun training and racing playlists!

What are you loving this Monday? Do you have any shorts advice for me? Fave running song? Anything? Talk to me!

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