#30for60 Challenge–Summer Version

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Good morning everybody! Easter is around the corner, April 1st is Monday, and spring has sprung (well kinda here… it doesn’t feel much like spring yet…). I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m thinking about SUMMER! Shorts, tank tops, flip flops, and bikinis! I absolutely love living in the Ocean State – the beach is one of my favorite places to be!

So, with summer being so close, I thought it’d be time to bring back the #30for60 Challenge! I did this over the holidays in 2011 and it was such a great success I figured, why not bring it back for summer this time? I’m pairing up with Dani from Weight off my Shoulders this time around – and we have got some great stuff in store for you!

30 for 60 Graphic

How it works:

April 1st through June 1st I challenge you to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity per day, every day. When I did this challenge the first time around many people were concerned with not taking a rest day. It’s not about the actual workouts as it is about getting 30 minutes of activity – go for a walk, take your kids to the park, stretch, any type of activity counts! Get creative with it! Even on my rest days, I walk to work, which is 10 minutes round trip – so I can add another 20 minutes onto that walk and there you have it, 30 minutes of activity! Check out my post from the last challenge about Active Rest Days for more ideas.

Track your days on this Google Spreadsheet that Dani set up for us – #30for60 Tracking. We’ve made this super easy this time around – Enter your name, your Twitter handle (if you have one), and each week enter the number of days you completed the challenge.

At the end of the challenge, there will be PRIZES!!!! Not only will you feel great and look great because you’ve been getting plenty of activity in your life, but you could win a prize.

So far here are the prizes up for grabs:

We’re still working on lining up even more prizes so stay tuned! I will be using Random.org to select winners based on the highest number of days completed in the challenge.

Dani and I would love to see your workouts so tweet us (@runcupcake and @IrishEyes1982) with the hashtag #30for60.

Who’s up for the challenge? I say bring it!

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Five for Friday: Stuff

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Happy Friday guys! I’ve got a bunch of random stuff on my mind for you this Friday!

1) I’m a nuun Ambassador! I don’t know what took me so long to announce this to you all! I applied a while back and got the email at the beginning of March telling me I had been accepted. You all know how much I love nuun, so I’m beyond excited! Remember, I take nuun with me everywhere, that’s how much I love it!

Nuun Gym BagNuun PurseNuun Kitchen Cabinet

2) I SERIOUSLY need to rearrange my training plan. Here’s how it stands right now:

Monday: Upper body strength/easy 30 minutes cardio

Tuesday: One hour of kettlebell

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Upper body strength/4 mile interval run

Friday: RPM

Saturday: Easy 4 mile run

Sunday: Long run

So, first of all I realize that I have 3 strength training days in there, and all 3 are going to hit my upper body pretty hard. No matter what you do with kettlebells there’s a lot of upper body involved, but I also use them as a good way to get a leg workout in without too much leg focus, because I don’t want my legs to be too sore for running. I learned this week that upper body day leaves me sore, a little too sore to do kettlebell the very next day. I also learned that my gym will no longer be offering RPM, and I’m skeptical of the new spin class, so I’m either going to have to create my own spins (which I’ve done in the past), or do something different for cardio for an hour that day. With all that being said, I think I’m going to try this with my workout routine:

Monday: Upper body/30 minutes easy cardio

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: One hour of kettlebell

Thursday: 4-5 Mile interval Run

Friday: Cardio Hour (I’m really going to try to make it spin)

Saturday: Long Run

Sunday: Recovery Run (and possibly some easy strength training – like body weight tabata)

I hope this works out better!

3) There is nothing better in this world than good friends. Last night Megan, Tania, and I stayed in, ate turkey chili, drank wine, and enjoyed some cupcakes from the Duck & Bunny (a local place known for their cupcakes – and yes, mine was gluten free!). We also watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was such a cute movie. To me, that’s a perfect night. I get to do it all over again tomorrow night too when my best friend Jen comes over to see my new apartment. I can’t wait to make butternut squash soup and gluten free meatloaf for dinner!

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4) I’M GOING TO SEE THE DROPKICK MURPHY’S TONIGHT! They’re one of my favorite bands and oddly enough I’ve never seen them live. Megan won tickets from a local radio station so we get to ride up to Boston on the party bus! I can’t wait to get all decked out in Irish/St. Pats themed clothes and makeup and go to what is sure to be one of the best shows I’ve ever seen! I already did my nails for the occasion.

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5) Treadmill boycott (for real this time). After my less than desirable race results last weekend due to the cold air in my lungs, I’ve decided to really go on treadmill boycott. Even today, when it’s 25 degrees with a feels like temperature of 16, I will be headed outside for a run. The sun is shining, there’s no reason to coop myself up in the gym on the boring treadmill.

How’s that for a random post? What’s in store for you this weekend? Any exciting festivities planned to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Tutu Hot to Handle Thursday!

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Good morning friends! How are you all doing on this fine Thursday?

First off – I want to thank everyone who has donated to my fundraising efforts for Reach the Beach and the Alzheimer’s Association. Your generosity means the world to me! If you haven’t donated yet, and are interested in doing so, you can do that right here!

You can also join us for 50/50 February! It’s not too late to enter for your chance to win some cold hard cash AND help a great cause at the same time!

And in other Team Tutu Hot to Handle news – We’re hosting a Virtual 5k/10k – The Race to Remember. 

We have some AMAZING sponsors on board with TONS of great prizes for running this virtual race! We have Nuun, Pretzel Crisps, Team Sparkle, Bendiful Watches, Bia, Perform Pain Relief, and Naked Wines, just to name a few. 

The prize pool is valued at over $1000!!!! So what I want you to do is head on over and visit Janine at The Purple Giraffe. She’s our team captain and has outlined EXACTLY what you need to do to get registered for this amazing race! We even have medals AND bibs for all of you! The race will run from March 1st through March 15h – so get training and get running for the Race to Remember!

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In other Reach the Beach news – I have finally started training! The race is only 3 months away after all.

Monday I was going to do my first run, after shoveling for over an hour – I figured it’d be a good way to get my body used to the fatigue it’s going to experience when I have to run 3 legs of a relay totaling a little over 17 miles in 24 hours. But then all of my clients cancelled for the day, and I got too lazy to drive to the gym (it was still too nasty out after Nemo blew through here to run outside…).

Tuesday I did manage to get my butt on the treadmill. It sucked. I couldn’t breathe, I had stomach pains, and my IT band was flaring up from that nagging injury I’ve had since last March. I did manage 2.5 miles though…

Meh Run

I am enjoying that ALL of my runs lately are at a sub-9 minute mile pace. Thanks to all the kettlebell training and running break I took earlier this year!

Then yesterday I finally had a run I would deem worthy enough to be called a good run!

Gorgeous Winter Run

I am loving not relying on my Garmin for pace too. The bf challenged me a few weeks ago to wear the Garmin but not watch it because he thinks I let it hinder my ability. I think he’s right – I didn’t even wear it on this run – I turned on the Nike+ on my phone and just went. The only time I knew my pace was as I hit each mile, and each mile I managed to push a little faster and went a little harder. It felt so good!

Yesterday’s run put me on treadmill boycott… I am going to make it a point to run all of my runs outside from now on, so Mother Nature better not get in my way! I always feel way better running outside than I do on the treadmill.

Then I took a much needed yoga class and also foam rolled the crap out of my legs again. I believe I need to get back into a weekly yoga habit and a daily stretching/foam rolling habit in order to keep this unruly IT Band happy!

Since I’m completely new to relay race training – who can offer me words of wisdom, advice, tips, etc?!

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Four Fabulous Fall Miles

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…with my favorite furry friend. Oh, alliteration, I heart you.

How’s everyone recovering from Halloween? I wasn’t doing so well this morning after a couple too many adult beverages and a late night (early morning?). It isn’t very often I am awake to see 2 a.m. – ugh!

So, after work, lunch, and a nap, I decided to go burn off the massive amounts of empty calories I consumed last night with a run! And from what I’m seeing out my kitchen window it looks like I picked the exact perfect time to do that too because the clouds are rolling in and Mother Nature’s glorious fall sunshine is going back into hiding.

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About a mile in – absolutely beautiful.

Today was one of those runs where there was literally nothing on my mind. It’s so strange how that happens because I’m usually a giant ball of stress and thinking – about whatever “issue” (I use the term loosely in the wake of the real issues many, many are facing right now as they recover from Hurricane Sandy) I may be going nuts over any particular day.

But today – none of that was there. I just ran. And watched Lexi run. Normally when we run with her we keep her tight by our side because we’re running a popular path. I went to a different path today that wasn’t so busy – and let her extend-a-leash out all the way and allowed her to run in front of me. I’m not sure she even realized she was being restrained unless I pulled her back for some reason. She bound away down the trail like 4 miles was the easiest thing she’s ever done in her life, and it made me so happy to see her so happy, so puppy like, so full of joy and energy. I love my little girl!

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This is one of the best runs I’ve had since starting to run again a couple of weeks ago. I do feel some pain in my shin, and I can tell my right IT Band is getting sore too, but nothing some stretching and foam rolling can’t work out. Not to mention proper recovery:

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Peanut butter on rosemary sourdough bread with a banana and some grape NUUN. Perfect! Now I must be off to get cleaned up since I have to go back to work for a little while tonight.

I hope everyone has a great rest of your Thursday!

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The Importance of Hydration

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Now that the warmer months are approaching, I thought I’d take this time to express to you the importance of proper hydration. But first, a little story…

Once upon a time there was a Little Cupcake (we’ll call her LC for short) who drank nothing but soda. And not diet soda, but full blown, straight up, high fructose corn syrup loaded Coke (or Sprite if I she was going caffeine free). LC had chronic problems with urinary tract infections, headaches, and not feeling well in general, but she couldn’t figure out why. So LC took a trip to her doc. Doc asked LC, “Do you drink water?” LC, befuddled at such a question, told the Doc “No, I do not drink water.” Lo and behold, lack of water consumption was the root of LC’s problems. From that day forward LC drank water all the time, aside from her morning coffee and her lunch time soda. No more UTI’s, no more headaches, no more icky feeling.

I love a happy ending. So, why am I telling you this? Because you need to hydrate. Especially during the summer. Which is quickly approaching (YAY!)

Why do we need to hydrate?

1)  The lower a persons percentage of body fat the higher their percentage of body water is. (Source) Okay so, we run, we work out, we lower our body fat and increase our body water. With a higher body water percentage to keep up, you must hydrate.

2) Insufficient hydration fatigues your muscles, reduces your coordination and causes muscle cramps. (Source) Not something you want to experience while running or working out, amiright?

3) Water is the most important nutrient for life and has many important functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout the body. (Source) Without proper hydration you’ll overheat. Transporting waste throughout your body – waste, like lactic acid that builds up during a hard workout or a long run.

Enough science already. Science was never my strong suit. The point is – the weather is getting warmer and we’re all taking our workouts outside. Please make sure you hydrate properly. Signs of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth (Do NOT wait until you are thirsty to hydrate, thirst is a sign that you are already on your way to dehydrating!)
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dark urine and/or lack of urination

If you experience any of these symptoms, grab your closest water bottle/glass and chug! It is incredibly important in order to avoid situations like LC in the story above.

My tips for staying hydrated:

  • Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. I keep one at work, one in my purse, alright I keep them everywhere. I’m a water bottle hoarder.
  • Freshen up your water – add ice, lemon, lime, a splash of fruit juice. 
  • Try to avoid feeling thirsty, and try to avoid having dark colored urine. Monitor your water intake if you’re not good at drinking it.
  • Make it a habit. It took me a long time to get used to drinking water all day long. Now, whenever my water bottle is empty, I immediately refill it and just sip throughout the day. Most days it adds up to over 100 ounces. Yes, I pee a lot, but my body is happy.

With that being said, I am here to kick start your hydration habits! Yup, you guessed it, giveaway #4 has to do with hydration. My favorite way to hydrate pre-run, mid-run (and workout), and post-run.

Nuun

I keep Nuun everywhere.

Nuun Gym BagNuun Purse

Nuun Kitchen Cabinet

I’m never without it. Why Nuun you ask?

(From Nuun’s Website)

  • Zero sugar
  • Important electrolytes
  • Under 8 calories
  • Easy to use

Drop a tab in the water, wait 2 minutes for it to dissolve, drink. Easy peasy.

And, I’m here to tell you that one lucky reader will win 2 tubes of Nuun for your own hydration needs!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Here’s how:

1) Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/runcupcake (Required)

2) Follow Nuun on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/nuunhydration (Required)

3) Tweet: I know how important it is to stay hydrated, that’s why I want to win @nuunhydration from @runcupcake! http://wp.me/p25oLf-JD (Optional)

The flavors that I’m giving away are two of my favorite flavors – Grape and Strawberry Lemonade.

Leave a comment for each entry.

Giveaway is open until Noon, Friday, May 4th.

Nuun is providing two tubes to one winner.

Open to all US and Canadian residents.

I hope you all had a happy Wednesday. I’m off to bed, final taper run tomorrow morning!

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Food, Food, and More Food

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I’ll admit, when I set off on this “cleaner eating” mission a couple of weeks ago, I was skeptical. I mean, I really thought I ate right. These past couple of weeks have been eye opening – and now, more than ever, I crave the foods I need, rather than the foods I think I want. Here’s a sneak peak into what’s been going into my belly the past two weeks:

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Honest Ade – 100 calories per bottle, 100% organic, 100 % freakin delicious.

 

 

 

Homemade Greek salad!Homemade Greek Salad

Balsamic chicken with lemony green beans & mushrooms (Recipe compliments of Clean Eating Magazine)Green BeansChicken & Green Beans

Who doesn’t love fruit salad?Fruit Salad

Larabars are by far my favorite go to “convenience snack”LarabarOrange

Who says Z Bars are just for kids? No high fructose corn syrup? Count me in! And it’s chocolate!Z Bar

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Lemon in Salad

Quinoa SaladApples, Almonds, and Nuun – a perfect afternoon snack!Apples & Almonds

Obviously this is all a fraction of what I’ve eaten in two weeks. I’ve also eaten a lot of oatmeal, which I’ve been CRAVING lately (Thanks Jess, Thanks Jo – I swear this is your fault).

Water, lemon water, and coconut water are my best friends, as well as Nuun. You can’t go wrong with Nuun – I hydrate during and after every workout with it.

And I did eat demolish Chinese food on Monday. Cravings. What can I say?

Oh, and wine. Less than usual, but I’m certainly not going without (I did have two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc last night – I was stressed, and had a headache).

The point of this is – I am seeing and feeling a difference. I’m glad to have finally taken the 99.9% plunge into clean eating/intuitive eating. It sure does make a difference!

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