Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Running: Lessons and Growth

Here it is the final day of 2014 and time to take a minute and look back at my strange year in running. I can sum it up in 2 words: Injuries and Growth.
Injuries struck me down starting from day 1 as I continued to push through to my goals but quickly realizing this was not happening. After a disappointing (but wonderful) experience at Boston I took my first break and learned a lot. I tried new things: Cross Fit, P90X3, PiYo, Pilates, Yoga, Rowing. I got back to running less miles and feel much better but still had an odd finish in October when my body shut down with about 4 miles to go at a marathon, I was on pace for a 3:25 but soon changed focus to staying upright and finishing leading to a 3:40 finish. An odd ankle/foot injury 1 week later meant another 6 weeks off running and rethinking my 2015 plans. I am back to running 4-6 miles now 2-3x a week but realizing my body does not like the uneven ground outside in winter and really likes the mix of cross training!
2014 Running
  • Dopey Challenge: fun but too tough on my body!
  • Completed marathons 24, 25 & 26!
  • Actually DNS at multiple races rather than push through pain
  • 1888 Miles (lowest years since I started!)
  • No PRs
  • I met Meb at Boston!
  • Found more great running friends
  • Coached more great runners
  • Learned a lot about what I can do to be a better runner!
  • Learned I enjoy things other than running!
  • Traveled to Florida, Massachusetts and Georgia to run

How was your 2014? What did you learn? What was the best part?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Weekly Goals to end 2014

We survived Christmas, multiple family get togethers and an overly tired preschooler who just wanted to be awake! Illness and all we made it, a couple workouts skipped due to illness but getting back on track. Saw family and friends we haven’t seen in a long time.

Fitness Accomplishments
  • Elite Blocks P90X3 (Week 15) Done!
  • Ran 2 times – reminded myself how much my body doesn’t like running on uneven snow packed ground!
  • Bike 1 time

NonFitness Accomplishments
  • House cleaned!
  • Overindulged in treats a little but could have been worse

How did it get to be the end of the year already? After a week of nice nonsnowy weather we are back in winter full force, yuck!
Commitment is Pushing Yourself When No One Else is Around. I have to do that first thing in the morning!! #commitment #fitness #quote

Fitness Goals
  • P90X3 (Finish Week 16!)
  • Run 3 times
  • Swim 1 time other than triathlon
  • Roll daily and ice post workouts

NonFitness Goals
  • Stick with meal plans
  • Put away all Christmas
  • Start back on full healthy eating after 1st
  • Clean my office at work
  • Start my Spanish book (a 2015 goal)

Does anyone have big plans to finish 2014 strong? Have a great week.

Friday, December 26, 2014

5 Things Friday

5 Things on my mind after an interesting Christmas. Like I mentioned yesterday we hosted Christmas Eve and planned to spend Christmas day relaxing well by noon I wasn’t moving from the couch thanks to some nasty stomach bug, my parents were heading over for dinner but that was quickly cancelled.

1. I love being a mom on Christmas! I don’t know how many times I heard “this is the best Christmas ever!” Seeing her eyes light up with joy was all I needed. When she wasn’t playing with presents (or eating cookies), O was dancing to the Nutcracker and trying to teach her cousins all about it. I’m so glad I could share this with her and can’t wait until next year.

2. Cooking healthy on a holiday that revolves around desserts is actually not too tough. I still enjoy my desserts but after cutting out refined sugar a few years ago to let my gut heal I don’t miss it and fell awful after eating something high in sugar. Combine this with needing gluten free and dairy free and baking can be tough. My kitchen is often one big experiment, some successful and other not so much. Christmas resulted in a few successes: key lime pie (recipe next week), egg nog cookies, date/nutfilled cookies (not very pretty), molasses and almond crescents.

3. We are all on the way to being healthy! My dad spent Christmas Eve night in the hospital with epiglottitis (yes, the thing that kids get!) but after steroids and antibiotics he was released late on Christmas so O got to open presents with grandpa too. I ate breakfast this morning and think this stomach thing was just a 24 hour bug, fingers crossed I’m getting back to normal after 10 hours of sleep.

4. Keeping secrets is tough when kids are involved! Last week a package arrived and when I picked it up to see who it was for O informed me it was my Christmas present, “but it’s not a running watch!” When I finally opened it yesterday I was not surprised to find a new Garmin! Thanks for keeping it secret!

5. I don’t see the big thing about having snow on Christmas. I was thrilled when it had been too warm for snow earlier this week and it all melted, I honestly don’t get why some people were so upset. We did get just a dusting of snow yesterday so I guess everyone can be happy now. But really does it make a difference in the overall holiday?

Happy Fitness Friday, hope you all had a great holiday. What 5 things are on your mind today?  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone Merry Christmas and hope you are enjoying the day. After hosting Christmas Eve dinner: Fajitas: black beans zucchini noodles (I love my Spiralizer!) with peppers, onions and mushrooms, guacamole and key lime pie. I loved spending my day cooking so much healthy, gluten free, vegan options (Matt did make chicken).

Cooper and O are having a blast with new toys and treats.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Weekly Goals and Winners!

What a fun week (and not so fun), dance show for O and Nutcracker but influenza for O too! Luckily we all got our vaccines so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Can anyone else relate?

Fitness Goals
  • Start Elite Blocks P90X3 (Week 14) Done!
  • Ran 2 times
  • Bike 2 times

NonFitness Goals
  • Experiment with new healthy cookies
  • Wrap presents! Still not started!
  • Clean the house! We are hosting Christmas, yikes! In progress
  • 5 minutes to myself daily to relax, need to be better

Hoping for a week of healthiness all around as O was complaining of tummy aches last night, come on germs leave! We are in full Christmas mode here as we are making ornaments, cookies and the tree is up.

Fitness Goals
  • P90X3 (Week 15)
  • Run 3 times
  • Swim at least once
  • See my chiro for acupuncture

NonFitness Goals
  • Stick with meal plans
  • Wrap presents
  • Clean the house!
  • Clean my office at work

Hope everyone is having a good holiday week and has some time off work. If you are looking for a fun little challenge to get you through the holiday weeks check out the 2 Week Plank Challenge on my Facebook Page.

KT Tape Winners (I’ll be emailing you later today): Jennifer and Breanna!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lessons as an injured runner

I can’t believe this is coming from me, the runner, the girl always out training for her next race, always pushing to run further and faster, pushing through injury and pain. Well the other day I was talking to a friend I haven’t seen since summer and filling him in on my crazy fall of illness and injury. He mentioned how the 4 weeks in a boot and not running for 6 weeks much have been so tough. It got me thinking…I actually didn’t miss it, what! Okay there were a few times I wanted to be out there but most days I was content.

How did this happen? For me I need something to push myself, to challenge me, something to burn of stress. This was the key to getting me through. I found something new, I focused on strength and this was tough for me. I challenged myself everyday plus I swam which for me is so much tougher than even a marathon! I love the changes I am seeing and feeling in my body.

I am thankful for this injury, yes I know that is odd. But it has changed me, made me more well rounded and in the long run a better runner. It has taught me that I can do so much more and enjoy it. Push ups are fun and the adrenaline of kick boxing is wonderful after a tough day, yoga relaxes me and centers my mind. Plus the physical benefits are massive. I even signed up for a triathlon (okay an indoor one but still!). I'm earning to better focus on nutrition as I'm not burning crazy amounts of calories.

Yes, I’m planning a spring marathon but I’m honestly not in a hurry to get back to training. I’ll take my 2 hour workouts in other forms right now, add in some running as I feel and not stress on where I am. It will come and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. What lessons have you learned from injury?

Happy Friday and Check out Fitness Friday

The Khai winners will be emailed today… Debbie, Jenn & Susan and don't forget the KT Tape Giveaway ends Tuesday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIAW and Black Bean Soup Recipe

I’ve been meaning to get this post up for weeks, sorry guys! Ever since I posted about my black bean soup experiment on Facebook and Instagram I’ve had recipe requests so I guess I better share! What better time than joining in What I AteWednesday
I thought I’d first share some of my latest favorite foods to stay healthy as my running miles are cut way back.

Roasted Pepper or Garlic Hummus and Veggies
Chia Berry “Pudding” With Pecans
Apples and Almond Butter
Chickpea Peanut Butter Cookies – I was skeptical but yum!
Raw Almonds

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Spinach Goat Cheese Sandwich
Vegan Mac n “Cheese”
Red Lentil Curry
Chickpea Pepper Quesadilla
Salad with Roasted Beets and Pecans
Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup (Slow Cooker) – Vegan/Gluten Free
1 lb dry black beans
4 cups vegetable broth
1 onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½-1 tsp red pepper (or more)
Salt to taste
1-2 peppers diced

Add all ingredients except peppers to slow cooker. Cook 1 hr high then 3-4 hours low, add diced peppers with 1 hour left. I puréed 1/2 soup before adding peppers. Can top with avocado, cheese, etc before serving.

I added homemade tortilla “chips” on the side

Tortilla Chips
8 corn tortillas
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp sea salt

Corn tortilla cut in quarters (honestly I had a bag of ripped pieces and dumped those in a bow!), toss with oil and juice. Put on pan and sprinkle with salt and cumin. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min flipping halfway through.

What are you go to foods right now?

What I Ate Wednesday Button

Don't forget my Khai Earth Activewear and KT Tape Giveaways!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

KT Tape! An essential for all runners- Giveaway!

Are you looking for a last minute stocking stuffer for the fitness buff on your list or yourself? A roll of KT Tape is perfect. I used to be skeptical how a piece of tape could do anything for my injured body but finally gave in after my hamstring was angry and was convinced. Now I'm trying out a new area for the tape...

I was again skeptical, I mean won't it get bunchy and bother me when I run? Nope! Stayed in place great (still in place 4 days later!). The little extra support was what I needed as I ease my way back to running. Like I mentioned before I did a pain free 4.5 miles Saturday!

So what is KT Tape?

KT TAPETM (Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape) is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support.  It delivers the next generation of sports injury solutions as it uniquely enables athletes to perform their best by providing pain relief and support to sore muscles or injuries before, during, and after activity without restricting motion.

KT TAPE is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and can be used for hundreds of common injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow.  It is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps people remain active while recovering from injuries. It creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. 
Have you tried KT Tape? Guess what, I'have 2 rolls to give away! You pick your fun (or boring) color! I mean if you are injured why not have fun with it! 

I was given product to review but all opinions are my own.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Goals and Holidays

Last week was rough, I’m not going to lie. I skipped a couple workouts but luckily it was a transition week so less intense I just haven’t felt great and had a busy schedule but I did keep my nutrition on track for the most part. Even discovered a new all gluten free restaurant near us, yum!

Fitness Goals
  • Daily workouts Yes, but lots of yoga and less highly intense workouts
  • 2 runs of 20-30 minutes run/walk Foot was sore Monday so I skipped a few days and did 4.5 miles run/walk Saturday
  • Elliptical x2
  • Bike x2

NonFitness Goals
  • Stick with weekly meal plan
  • Plan 2015 races Still debating the big spring and fall races!
  • No afternoon coffee Does 11am coffee count?!
  • No wine on weeknights
  • Christmas tree up and cards mailed Tree is up, no lights yet!
  • O had her first Christmas program at church, she did great and had so much fun. Me not so much, woke with a migraine and despite lots of meds the signing was not fun for my head.

This will be the start of the weird work weeks for me, this week O has her dance show Wednesday so day off! Plus this weekend I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday traditions with O, The Nutcracker! We still need to do plenty of healthy baking but with just 10 days to go we are finally feeling like Christmas around here.

Fitness Goals
  • Start Elite Blocks P90X3 (Week 14)
  • Run 2-3 times
  • Bike 2x (I only have 3 weeks to finish the show I’m watching on Netflix until it leaves!)

NonFitness Goals
  • Experiment with new healthy cookies
  • Wrap presents!
  • Clean the house! We are hosting Christmas, yikes!
  • 5 minutes to myself daily to relax

What are your plans this week? Accomplishments last week? Don’t forget to enter my Khai Earth Activewear Giveaway. Be sure to check back tomorrow for another giveaway!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Khai Earth Activewear Review and Giveaway

Like all other runners I have my favorite, go to workout clothes and rarely deviate. But when I was contacted to review a new eco friendly workout top from Khai Earth I couldn’t say no. I’m a tank girl unless it is cold out so I chose the AirLite Tank but they have short sleeve active wear as well. They are a small company offering limited options but the simple options seems to meet most people’s needs. Do you prefer tanks or short sleeves to workout?

The fabric had that cotton feel but was full tech and even lighter than the usual running top. It was super soft and comfortable. My only complaint is the lack of size chart on their website, I guessed and chose a small but probably could have gone Xsmall.

It is recyclable and biodegradable…

But the true test, the workout! I sweat and not the cute sparkle sweat, but full on drenched sweat. This fabric was awesome, as the sweat dripped off my forehead the inner layer of the tank kept my chest and back dry by quickly absorbing and wicking the moisture away. The next day in my tired early morning stupor I couldn’t find a new op in the dark so I grabbed the Khai and not only was it dry but didn’t smell like day old running clothes! Admit, you’ve done it too!

Such a great top but how would it hold up to washing? The tag says to wash inside out and air dry, not too tough but I guarantee that at some point it will get dried as I (or Matt) quickly throw clothes from washer to drier. No shrinking and fabric is still as good as it was out of the package.

Check out the inner layer!
I have yet to give this top the ultimate runner test of a marathon but so far I am convinced that I will add a new addition to my workout wear. You can too! Khai is offering 30% off to all my readers with code marathonmom30 or better yet…win your own! I am giving away a Khai workout top to 3 of my readers! 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Goals: Back to running, I hope!

Guess what…I ran!! So anyone who follows me on FB or IG already saw my excitement yesterday but I have to share here too. My first run back in 6 weeks, yes I was smart for once and took the longer end of the range to be off even though the pain has been gone for over a week. 6 weeks no running had to be over! I’m spending the next few weeks slowly working up with low miles and only 2-3 runs per week (maxing at 10-15 miles a week).

Fitness Accomplishments
  • Daily workouts: Finished Week 12 of P90X3
  • Biking, Elliptical, Rowing and a Run
  • Main focus on Strength, Core and Flexibility
  • I signed up for a triathlon! Okay so it is indoors but still I did it.

  • Back on track after a bad week of eating
  • Finished Fall Semester! Only 2 more to go!
  • Great family Saturday with Holiday Lights Parade, Santa and dinner out
  • Dinner with a friend I haven’t seen in over a year
  • Started Christmas baking for cookie exchange: Mint Mocha Cookies (not healthy, not GF and not for me!), next up my cookies
  • School applications in for kindergarten!

Less than 3 weeks until Christmas and 3 ½ weeks until January is here! I’m focusing on staying on track to finish the year and through the holidays ahead. This week brings MRTT Holiday Party, O’s Christmas Program and more baking.

Fitness Goals
  • Daily workouts
  • 2 runs of 20-30 minutes run/walk
  • Swim
  • Do 4 continuous pull ups

NonFitness Goals
  • Stick with weekly meal plan
  • Plan 2015 races
  • No afternoon coffee
  • No wine on weeknights
  • Christmas tree up and cards mailed

What are your goals this week? Who has started Christmas baking?

Friday, December 5, 2014


I apologize for being kind of MIA lately but yikes life has gotten in the way of. I’m trying to update more on Instagram and Facebook since they are quick and easy and I always have my phone. So make sure to follow me over there to see what’s been going on in my crazy world! As  I sat to write I had so many thoughts since it has been almost 2 weeks so I decided to turn this into something fun…

11 Excuses for not blogging:
  1. I have been redecorating our newly finished downstairs…

  1. Working on my thesis proposal and obtaining IRB approval! The semester is now over!
  2. Dog sitting, some parts made life easier since Cooper had a playmate but 2 dogs is nuts sometimes!     
  4. Shopping! I think the American Girl Store has sucked all my money! What was I thinking getting O a doll for Christmas?! But I’m having so much fun too!
  5. And now I am sick! Earlier this week bedtime was 8pm. I think this time every year we start to get hit with the winter germs and it hangs out for months.
  6. Cooking and planning for Christmas baking and meals. We are hosting this year so I get to control the nontraditional menu, yay! What’s on your menu?
  7. Trying to get what feels like hundreds of Christmas cards written!
  8. Helping plan the MRTT Holiday Party! 
  9. Feeling overwhelmed as I look at the calendar this month: Dance show, holiday parties galore, Santa, shopping and more!
  10. Best part planning a trip to Disney Land for a work conference and bringing the family! It will be a surprise to O.
  11. Planning 2015 race season. What is on your calendar?

Happy Friday! Although not much fitness related I’m linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday!