Monday, December 31, 2012

Are you ready for 2013?!

Here I sit on the final morning of 2012 and look back at my goals from the past year realizing I am about to write the same goals for the upcoming year and I am slightly disappointed to realize I am sitting in the exact same spot (or even further back) than I was 1 year ago in many aspects. But enough on that as I will reveal these goals and plans tomorrow after my credit card gets a workout taking advantage of all the final day race registration specials. I decided that my attitude is lacking right now after spending my last week sick and evaluating the past year might not be the best today. Instead I will focus my energy on the last day of 13 in 2013 registration and some more exciting news with our latest partner...

The Color Run

This past July I did something very different for me and ran a fun race with friends with no intention of racing and it was wonderful! I mean what could be more fun than running covered in color?! Check out my full report from last Summer of The Color Run. We have teamed up with The Color Run to offer all 13 in 2013 participants a discount on race registration! (Codes to be listed on Facebook Group page).

Mark Your Calendars for 13 in 2013 Virtual Race Series
13 in 2013

Details and registration coming soon...

13 in 2013

13 in 2013

Remember register by Midnight [EST] tonight for 13 in 2013 to be part of all the fun and epic running this year. Jill and I are thrilled at the excitement and seeing we are nearly at 500 runners! Join us in the fun year of running ahead and see what else we have in store.

What are you looking forward to in 2013? How did 2012 end, did you reach your goals? Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. Kick off 2013 with a run, Who's running Commitment Day? I will be out there, attempting to not freeze in the below zero windchills of tomorrow. I love this concept to kick off the year with a healthy commitment and continue through the entire year. Not too late to join thousands of others throughout the United States, $5 off with code CHA0070.

Photo: Save $10 on New Year’s Day Fun Run registration with code HOLIDAY -->

Sunday, December 30, 2012

12/30 Menu Planning

I guess it is that time of year, time for the sickies to hit! Last Winter brought just about every possible illness with me doing clinical rotations in pediatrics and a toddler in multiple activities, no one was spared! So far we have been luckier this year, until now! I think this is the first time all three of us have been hit this hard at the same time and it is awful! But I think (hope) we are on the road to health. Last week was not too fun, lots of time sleeping and I think we had our first real meal last night. 

Menu planning this week will be a lot of recycling from last week since we had a lot of soup and toast, linking up with Jill and Laura

Sunday: Pad Thai
Monday: Butternut Squash White Bean Risotto & Tiramisu
Tuesday: Coconut curry veggie rice
Wednesday: Lasagna (leftovers frozen from Christmas dinner)
Friday: ?? Dinner out
Saturday: 4 bean quinoa chili & corn muffins

Pad Thai
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp. palm sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
Chili Flakes to taste (or omit)
2 cups shredded veggies
1-2 eggs or 8 oz tofu
1 pkg rice noodles
2 green onions diced
Crushed peanuts

In hot pan add tamarind, sugar, lime juice and vinegar and cook until dissolved, add chili if desired. Add in shredded veggies and onions until soft, push aside and scramble egg(s)or tofu. Meanwhile cook rice noodles according to package. Add noodles to pan toss to cover with veggies and sauce. Top with nuts and serve.

Now for the other aspect that didn't go as planned last week; workouts! I was so happy to be back out for a run (very slow) yesterday, it was nice even though I coughed through much of it. I needed this even though it was not what I had planned for this week, it mentally made me feel great.

Sunday: Morning Long Run & Afternoon Weights
Monday: Morning Spin & Afternoon Run
Tuesday: Morning 5K & Afternoon Weights
Wednesday: Morning Kickboxing class & Afternoon pilates
Thursday: Morning Weights with trainer & Evening run
Friday: Morning Spin & Afternoon pilates
Saturday: Morning Run

Friday, December 28, 2012

Caffeine & Running

Yes, I love my coffee although not as much as hubby who had gotten into the habit of 15+ cups per day until recently when he discovered the excess caffeine was causing his daily migraines :( I am more on the lines of 4 cups per day with maybe 1 being a specialty latte on occasion. My love of coffee might be the reason behind tiramisu being my favorite dessert. You can see why I was thrilled a few years ago as I sat at a Sports Medicine conference and a nutritionist was speaking and caught my attention as she claimed "caffeine counts as fluid intake, it is not considering dehydrating" (now forgive me as I can not find the source anymore). I was thrilled as I was drinking what I'm sure was my 3rd or 4th cup of coffee that day.

As a runner I have always used the electrolyte gels/chews with caffeine and had a cup of coffee before a race, but does it help? According to many it does, although the amount needed varies from 1 mg-6 mg/kg body weight, but the agreement is that any amount will help an athlete to go further and faster (Source). Not only does coffee help athletic performance but also overall health; improving memory and metabolism and decreasing the risk for diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson's, gout, cancer and depression (Source).

My take on coffee
  • Not only does it taste great, but what is better than the smell of fresh brewed coffee
  • 1-2 cups 1+ hour prior to a workout is enough to keep me going, prevent the caffeine headache
  •  For a longer run I add in 1 additional caffeine source in the form of a gel or chew
  • Limit the caffeine during a workout to prevent excessive heart rate increase
  • After a long workout a coffee is perfect recovery
Not my question: If caffeine has been shown to improve athletic performance will it be the next banned substance? I hope not, but I do wonder. In the meantime go an enjoy that cup of coffee!

Last week my daughter was watching Sesame Street and once again coffee caught my attention. I looked over to see an entire segment discussing coffee and the variations. Starting the kids a little early?!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

13 in 2013 Prize Reveal & Runtastic Giveaway

Support from our Sponsors

13 in 2013
Flexline Hydration - Hands Free Backpack Hydration System
13 in 2013
13 in 2013
13 in 2013
Sportline – Home Fitness Gear
13 in 2013
13 in 2013
Chike Nutrition - Protein Supplement
13 in 2013
Active Accessories – On-the-Go Pouch
13 in 2013
The Stick - Sprinter Stick massager
13 in 2013
Energy Bits - 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae
13 in 2013
Cascadian Farm – High Quality Organic Granola Granola Bars and Cereal
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13 in 2013
Spright Cosmetics - Performance driven beauty brand solely dedicated to Active Women.
Click here to purchase Decaffeinated Green
Choice Organic Teas Fair trade organic teas
PRO Compression
Pro Compression- Athletic performance socks
Simple Trends- Essentials for your active lifestyle
  • Prizes can only be shipped to the US unless otherwise specified.
  • Prizes may not be the exact product as pictured above.
Watch for more details:
  • You asked for it! 13 in 2013 t-shirts!
  • 13 in 2013 virtual race calendar and prizes
  • Google hangouts
  • more sponsors
  • Google hangouts

Now the giveaway!

13 in 2013
13 in 2013
Runtastic is generously sponsoring our first 13 in 2013 giveaway with 300 Runtatstic PRO app upgrades for the winners! Yes, you read it right. 300!
Runtastic lets you measure all the necessary data to optimize your workout results. Remember, you can only manage what you can measure.
With runtastic you can measure just about everything you need and more:
GPS Tracking
Measurement of distance, time, speed/pace (cur./Ø), calorie consumption
Voice Feedback (PRO) —-> love this feature!
Live Tracking (PRO)
Cheering (PRO)
Pulse Reading (PRO)
Heart Rate Zone (PRO)
Geo Tagging (PRO)
Integrated Music Player (PRO)
Auto Pause (PRO)
Earth View (PRO)
Weather (PRO)
You have everything you need in your hands to see how much you have improved and are closer to attaining your goals.
  • the PRO app upgrade is for iPhone and Android only
  • you must be signed up as a 13 in 2013 participant to be eligible to win Details Here
How to Enter:

Are you ready to run?

Get all of the challenge details here:  Are You Ready to Run 13 in 2013?
There’s still time to register!
  1. Sign up [and commit] using the Google documentSign ups close midnight (EST) on December 31.
  2. If you blog, post the challenge button with the distance of your choice on the sidebar of your blog.
  3. Throughout the year update the Google doc with your progress and completed races.
Registration closes Midnight (EST) December 31
Looking for a little more encouragement to join? Check out Jill's post: What I Learned From Running 12 in 2012
Per FTC disclosure requirements, please note I received the above products for free to giveaway. In some cases I also received product to review.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weight Training and Women Runners

For the past many years I have been doing some form of strength training but never really changed my routine until I started working with trainers off and on a couple years ago. Last summer I started working with my new trainer who I was a little skeptical about at first, he will be the first to admit he is not a runner or anything close to an endurance athlete. I wasn't sure how we'd relate but since he seemed to know his stuff (head trainer) I gave him a shot and I'm glad I did. I can honestly say I kind of enjoy this now! Often I am the only woman in the weight room, like yesterday (yes Christmas) it was 5 guys and me. I have learned another form of stress relief through lifting, I mean it has to feel good to lift heavy!
I was having a conversation with another runner friend about weight training and why she won't do it, I am sure there are others feeling the same so here is my attempt to break some myths. 

I will get "man arms": Women lack the testosterone to build huge amounts of bulk unless doing power lifting or with a little "help". Women typically have less muscle tissue than men so building this size is less likely to happen. Women can develop sculpted muscle with strength and endurance.

My chest will get even smaller: As someone who has always been small chested and now after nearly 2 years of breastfeeding is barely filling an A anymore! The weightlifting has actually helped to build extra pectoral muscle giving the illusion of a bigger chest and without the flab.

It will interfere with cardio workouts: For any runner weights will supplement and improve cardio workouts if done correctly. My focus for strength training is mostly endurance ad power to help with running. I do a lot of super sets combining multiple exercises together. I also focus on core strength. Yes you need to time the weights with key running workouts or races but with planning it is easy to manage. 

I can't do the free weights: Most gyms will give free introduction sessions with a trainer, take advantage of this and learn. If you are able work with a trainer or a friend who is knowledgeable in weight training. It is funner to work out with someone else anyways.

Women should focus on light weights with high reps: Without resistance and weight to challenge your muscle changes will not happen. Strength is gained through pushing beyond your limits. This was part of my problem; I was so set in my routine and lighter weights and wondered why the improvement stopped. Now I am constantly increasing and changing routines and see the results.

Recently I started running with a woman who is my opposite: new to running but high intensity weight lifter and I am learning from her. Actually I think we are teaching each other as I convince her to run through use of strength analogies and she helps me understand the culture of strength training.

I am hoping that with weight training 3 days a week my running will improve and I can stay injury free. I am also loving the power I feel when I lift heavier and do more than I expected. I never thought I'd be bench pressing more than the bar (up to 70 lbs) or doing pull ups on my own. Working out with my trainer has convinced me I can do more and shown me how I mentally defeat myself. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Someone was very excited to see Santa Claus after waiting all morning through our run. I'm not sure she actually told him what she wanted but did discuss her upcoming vacation to Costa Rica and how she is soon to be 3 years old. I think there may have been talk of pancakes too since it was Santa breakfast!

I can honestly say this has been the funnest Christmas so far, I love seeing the excitement of it all through a my child, although I did go a little overboard on gifts because I knew she'd "like that too"! She is easy to please: the best response last night was to a purple hair bow from her aunt: "I so love it!"

Santa busily finished wrapping presents at 5am and now we wait. After a fun holiday season of Santa breakfast, crafts, cookies, seeing the Grinch at the Children's Theater and making homemade gifts I am ready for the big finish :)

Hoping the weather warms from -2f (-17 windchill) so I can meet a friend for a run this morning before embarking of lasagna and pie making craziness! Hope everyone has a great holiday with time for family and friends, good food and fitness.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2012

Running in 2012

Best Race Experience: This may be odd but my best race was Boston Marathon Yes it was hot and tough but I was happy to be running after a stress fracture had me out last spring. It was such a different experience than 2011 where I PR'd and missed a lot of the course excitement, this year I soaked it all in, had fun with the crowds and just ran what felt good. I was happy to be running pain free. And who isn't happy to be running Boston?! 
Me with the pink legs!
Best Run: 2012 was a year of tough running, but I had many fun experiences. I spent many of my winter runs with new running friends pushing me and encouraging me to take on new adventures and enjoyed running with friends who have decided to embark on the running journey too. One run that sticks in my mind was my 1st leg at Ragnar Northwest Passage I felt great, the weather was perfect and I was running better than I expected passing the speedy guys and loving every minute.

Worst Race Experience: This is a toss up between Minneapolis Marathon or Med City Half but think I will pick Med City, it was hot, humid and my calf was hurting. I had originally planned to run the full marathon but decided to go with the half which was bad enough. I ran my worst time since running halfs pregnant. 

Best New Piece of Gear: My compression socks, after a calf injury in the winter I decided to give them a shot and was immediately hooked. Now I am even happier to discover they help keep my feet warm in the winter too. Love my ProCompression!

Best Piece of Advice: My trainer has told me many times to stop convincing myself I need to back down. I have a bad habit of backing down when something gets tough and settling into an easier workout. Looking back this is so obvious but it took someone else saying this to make me see it. It is hard to see how much of a mental sport running is sometimes and being pushed through strength workouts to do more has helped me to see I can push through more.

Most Inspirational Runner: Sonya, a woman I coach who has Crohns is always striving to do more. She pushes through despite pain and setbacks. She has been hospitalized many times but still trains and runs when she can and has her next half in the works already.

Sum up the Year in a Few Words: Challenging, new adventures and a time for re-evaluating .

How Many Races: 20 (I think!) 

Running Ups: Meeting new running friends, traveling at the last minute to run Ragnar, setting new goals and working to be a stronger runner and better athlete.

Running Downs: The never ending injury that started my a calf strain became a stress fracture and eventually resulted in hamstring issues. I am trying to learn to be better at listening to my body and not pushing through.  

Overall 2012 was the year of learning and changing. I was getting overconfident with my abilities without changing or listening, we all need that slap in the face moment to get us back on track. 2013 will be the year.

How was your 2012 and what are you looking forward to in 2013?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12/23 Menu Planning and Another Cookie Recipe

I almost decided not to menu plan during the holidays but I probably need it more now, so linking up with Jill and Laura

Pumpkin Egg Nog pancakes
Monday- Christmas Eve
Quinoa Mac N Cheese (plus food from the ILs that I won’t be able to eat)
Tuesday- Christmas
GF Veggie Lasagna, GF Garlic Rolls, Salad, Pumpkin Pie
Run Night- Sandwich and fruit
?? Dinner Out or Leftovers

The holidays wouldn't be complete without more cookie baking. I have always loved these cookies my grandmother made but have stayed away the past few years due to my dietary issues until now. I am so happy to have adapted them to our needs!
Ready to make cookies

Cutting them out= the best part!

Date/ Nut Filled Cookies
The result of a toddler cutting and filling cookies!
1 1/2 cups raisins - ground up
1/2 cup dates - ground up
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup walnuts - chopped fine
1/2 cup water
Boil until thick and set aside

Cookie Dough 
1/2 cup organic sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose Gluten Free flour (Whole wheat would work)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk (or other)
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dough ingredients, chill about 1 hour. Roll thin and cut with cookie cutter. Put a spoonful of filling on each cookie. Put another cookie on top. Pinch edges together.

Bake on prepared baking sheet in 350F preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden

Happy Holidays to all! What are your favorite Christmas cookies?  

Week in Workouts
Sunday: Long Run in am + Weights in afternoon
Monday: Spin class in am + ? Short afternoon run
Tuesday: Morning Run + Weights in afternoon
Wednesday: Run + Pilates
Thursday: Morning weights with Trainer + Evening Run
Friday: Morning Spin
Saturday: Morning Run

How are you sticking with workouts during the holiday?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Healthy Holidays & Cookies

The holidays can be a stressful time with so much going on and running around which leads to unhealthy eating and lack of exercise for many. The holidays don't have to be this, instead take this as a time to spend time with your family and friends sharing a  healthy lifestyle.

Make smart foods choices: Look at the options before choosing and then fill up with the healthier choices but allow yourself a little indulgence with smaller portions of the less healthy foods. Decide if you are really hungry, don't give in to mindless eating. don't stand by the food or you will likely keep snacking as you talk.

Don't drink your calories: The holidays come with cocktails, wine and other drinks containing 100s of calories or more. Enjoy drinks in moderation, have water in between drinks and be careful or the offers to keep "topping off" your glass. My choice is always a couple glasses of a good red wine.

Use healthier recipes: Use healthy substitution: whole grains instead of refined flours; natural sweeteners and cut back on the sugars; apple sauce, bananas, yogurt, pumpkin and avocado are all great healthy oil subs.

Bring a healthy dish you can enjoy: Plan ahead and bring a healthy food you will eat and/or snack on healthy foods (fruit, veggies/hummus, whole grain crackers) at the event or before. I plan to bring my Quinoa Mac N Cheese and Pumpkin Pie this year on Christmas Eve and will be doing all the cooking for Christmas: Veggie lasagna, spinach salad, whole grain garlic bread.
Get moving: Take advantage of all the holiday themed fun runs and events. Get the family involved and run/walk a 5K. Go play outside with the kids, find a new activity. I am thinking of trying cross country skiing. Depending on your weather start a new holiday tradition and walk, run, bike to look at holiday lights. If you are traveling find body weight circuit workouts to do anywhere, pack your shoes and get outside, see if your gym is in the area go or ask about short term guest passes. Now is the time to start thinking of the goals for 2013 and beginning to work on those, no need to wait until New Year's.
Joyful 5K- Christmas 2011

 Take time for yourself: We spend a lot of time running around, shopping, getting to parties, taking kids to activities, cooking, etc that we forget about ourselves. Take time each day for yourself whether it is 5 minutes or 1 hour do this; go for a run, read a book, meet a friend for coffee. Take this time to relax and everyone will be happier.

What are your healthy holiday tips?

A healthy Gluten Free cookie recipe we made yesterday... 
Almond Meal Eggnog Cookies Adapted from Ari
yield about 2 dozen cookies
·         2 cups almond meal
·         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
·         1 tbsp organic sugar
·         1 tbsp molasses
·         Dash of salt
·         3/4 cup So Delicious Nog
·         1 tsp vanilla extract

1    Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together almond meal, baking soda, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add Egg Nog, molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined. Drop by teaspoonfulls onto prepared baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Linking up for Fitness Friday

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Goals and motivation for 2013- Reasons for running

As we approach 2013 and wrap up 2012 every takes a little time to look back on the past year and forward to the next. I have many goals in mind for 2013 and I know so does everyone else, many involving the 13 in 2013 challenge, Jill and I would love to hear these and why you are choosing to take on this challenge. If you are interested in sharing please email me your story.

Here is Clea's reasons for running and joining 13 in 2013, thanks for sharing...

I am super thankful for the opportunity to do a guest post.  I don't really have a good reason for why I run other than I just always have.  I started running in high school doing cross country and track.  Cross country is truly a beautiful sport and I think that's where I developed I love for just going out and enjoying a pretty run.  I just got in the habit very young of starting each day with a run.  It's really part of my personality now and my morning doesn't feel complete without it.  High school was intense competitive running with two a day practices, so post high school I didn't race.  I just ran 5-8 miles a day.   I did this for years.

I started racing again when I was about 24.  Here in Austin we have tons of well done races, and I started with a half marathon.  I quickly morphed into a marathoner, and the long runs really spoke to my roots of enjoying just getting out there.    My marathoning progressed from one a year into  2-3 a year, and into running the Boston marathon.  After a couple Boston's I started looking for the next challenge and took up ultra running.  I had always read about it but never thought I could do it.  What convinced me was the fact we had one of the top 50 milers in the country, the Sunmart 50 mile run,  here in Texas (unfortunately this race is no more).  I convinced a friend to join me, and we started down the slippery slope of ultra running which only leads to lots or racing and time out on the trails.  I did ultras for about 4 years racking up finishes in just about every distance up to a 100 miler.  100 miles was really not the distance for me, and after I had my son in 2010, I declared myself retired from ultra running and went back to marathoning.  I've been doing about 3-4 marathons  year, and pretty much just focus on having fun now.  I became a masters runner this year, and have definitely gotten slower with age.  My goals have shifted from hitting goal times, to running honest efforts and staying injury free.   Over the last few years I also discovered yoga and it is now a huge part of my training.  I generally just do easy runs M-F and then a long run over the weekend.  I take one off day of no running every week.  It's a simple formula, but works for me.


I am doing the 13 in 2013 challenge mainly to connect with other bloggers.  I have had my blog for awhile but haven't done the best job at using it to connect with other runners.  I run by myself a lot and miss the camaraderie I used to get meeting up with running friends.  Now I base my runs around my family time, so I often and up very early knocking out the miles before my family is up.  I have managed to meet a few running bloggers along the way and have ended up meeting  a couple bloggers at races.  I would love to meet more!  I will be aiming for a variety of distances with the challenge.  I've already got a marathon or two planned and my goal race is a 50K (I swear that is as far as I will go!).  I plan to fill in gaps with the virtual races, and some family 5Ks, which we have just started doing this year, as my now almost 3 year old, loves the kids' 1Ks that come with them.   I am looking forward to a year of racing, staying healthy, and meeting other runners!

Clea blogs at be sure to see what she is up to in 2013!