Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Recent running purchases

This week ended up being the week for a bunch of running packages at my house, and that was super exciting!  First, Fabletics was having an amazing sale a couple weeks ago so I bought a bunch of stuff from them.  I tried out one of the outfits when I went to body pump yesterday and loved it.  I love the pattern on the leggings and the bright color of the top.

In addition, I got another top and a sports bra.  I'm excited to try them out as well.

Then, Mike had signed me up for the runner gift exchange on Reddit again.  The person I was buying for didn't provide a lot of direction (unlike the person I had last year) but he seemed to be a new runner so I got him a hand held water bottle (hydration is important!) and a foam rolling set.  I got my gift yesterday and it is an adorable Disney themed running tank!

And my last running purchase of the week, new running shoes!  Amazon sent me an email about a sale on Saucony Guides so it was perfect timing.  I was trying to strike a balance since the ones I really liked aesthetically were the most expensive but the ones that were the cheapest I didn't like at all.  So here are the ones I ended up deciding on.

I'm excited to give them a try on my run tomorrow!

So that's it for now.  Have you had any fun running purchases recently?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekly Review

Last week went pretty well for me.  There was a little bit of shuffling but I did get in all my planned workouts.  So on to the details of the week!

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - Body pump

Wednesday - 35 minute morning run in the neighborhood

Thursday - Jillian Michael's yoga meltdown.  I didn't make it home in time for body pump but I did do the strength training at home in the evening so that was ok as an option B.

Friday - Another run in the neighborhood in the morning.  It was essentially the same route as Wednesday but hotter and with more humidity.  I was happy to see the pace was just a couple seconds slower.

Saturday - rest day since we spent most of the day at the Maryland Renaissance Fair with a group of firends.  It was a hot day and I think we were all exhausted by mid afternoon.  I tried to be cognizant of drinking a lot of water and overall, we had a good time.

Sunday - 5 mile run with friends.  A local suburb has a recreation park with a bunch of soccer fields, a swim center, etc.  And there is a running/walking path around the perimeter of the park that is approximately 2.5 miles.  So we did 2 rounds of the path.  We started at 7 so it was overcast most of the run but the last quarter or so got pretty sunny.  It was slow but we managed negative splits so I'm pretty happy with how the run went.

So that's my week!  I hope everyone else had a good week too.  I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

 Weekly Wrap 51 Taste the Rainbow

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Five - scary moments while running

Happy Friday! It's been a good week here and I'm looking forward to a fun weekend.  But first, it's time to link up with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar for the Friday Five.  Today, I'm going to talk about 5 scary moments I've had while running.  This topic came about because I went for a run this morning and had three scary moments in the course of a 3 mile run!

1. Scary people - Sadly, there have been lots of things in the news lately about people assaulted while they've been running.  I'm always nervous about this but when I'm running alone, I try to stick to areas that I know are pretty well populated.  I was running in my neighborhood this morning which has plenty of cars driving by and other people walking.  But I was still wary when it seemed like someone was following me at one point in my run.  I'm sure it was just coincidence and he turned off at an intersection to go a different way.  But I was definitely nervous for a bit.

2. Self-inflicted harm - I took a spill this morning.  It wasn't even while I was running but while I was doing my cool down walk afterward.  I should have known better but I was fiddling with my phone to sync my Garmin data.  And there was an uneven spot in the sidewalk, down I went.  Thankfully, I didn't really hurt myself.  A bit of a scrape and my ankle twinged a bit but stopped hurting once I walked it out a little.  I'm always worried about hurting myself and having to stop running to heal but thankfully today was no where near that level.

The culprit... well, that and my own clumsiness

3. Dogs - A lot of people are walking their dogs in the morning while I'm out for my run and they're all so cute.  But today, one of them lunged at me when I passed!  His owner had a tight hold on him and it was fine.  But in that moment, I didn't know and I swear my heart stopped for a second.  I passed them later in the run too and I paused, stepped off the sidewalk into the street, and gave them a wide berth.

4.  Random wildlife - I love running on the trails in this area and usually love seeing random wildlife.  There are a lot of rabbits and I've seen deer several times.  But for a bit last year, there was an owl that was attacking people on the Capital Crescent Trail!  The signs warning about the owl definitely made me nervous but thankfully I never actually saw it myself.

5. Creepy Crawlies - I'm not a fan of bugs and snakes.  There were a couple runs in Georgetown where I saw a lot of snake skins on the trail.  I guess it was the season where they molt.  I was jumpy every time I saw movement toward the edges of the pavement.  When I finally did see a snake, it was kind of anti-climactic.  He was pretty small and slithered his way across the trail minding his own business.  He had no interest in me at all.  And that was just fine with me!

So those were my 5 scary moments on the run.  Hopefully I can avoid more :)  Have you guys had any scary moments while running?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Party snacks and leftovers

We had a couple people over Saturday night to celebrate Mike's birthday.  Yes, this was also the weekend that I managed to catch a cold.  But I didn't want to cancel at the last minute.  So we went ahead with our party prep plans with frequent hand washing for me.

It was a late party so we weren't providing a meal.  But we did want to have plenty of snacks available, and I wanted to make sure that at least some of them were healthy.  Mike made chocolate espresso cookies and strawberry lemonade cookies, so he had the sweet treats covered!  I decided on watermelon salsa with tortilla chips and raw veggies with a vegan green goddess dip.  I used the version of the dip with tahini instead of avocado since Mike is allergic to avocado.  So it wasn't that green, but it was delicious!

Chips and watermelon salsa

Of course, we had leftovers and we repurposed them into dinner for the week.  We roasted the remaining veggies for 40 minutes at 425 degrees and I turned the dip into a tahini herb sauce by heating it up, thinning it out with water, and adding soy sauce, smoked paprika and garlic powder.  This was a bit of an experiment but it worked out surprisingly well.  We served the veggies and sauce over rice.

Green goddess dip in the background

The watermelon salsa had some left overs too.  The plan for it is to drain out the excess liquid and sautée it up with some black beans to make tacos.  Black bean mango is a combination I've seen before so I think it should work equally well with the watermelon.  And it's already got the onions, peppers and cilantro chopped up in there.

And the cookies, well lets be honest, there were no leftovers of the cookies!

So that's how I repurposed party left overs.  Any favorite tips or recipes for repurposing left overs?  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  It flew by for me and I can't believe that Monday's already back.  Sadly, this past week didn't go so well for me with the work outs but I did what I could.  Here's the summary.

Monday - 30 minute run.  I woke up early knowing that I wouldn't necessarily have the time mid-week.  I forgot my watch so used Runkeeper.

Tuesday - planned rest day because it was Mike's 40th birthday!  We went out for a nice dinner after work.

Fried green tomatoes, beet and goat cheese salad, rhubarb crisp with ginger lime ice cream

Wednesday - unplanned rest day.  I was exhausted and assumed that I would have plenty of time on the weekend to make it up.  Bad idea.

Thursday - 40 minutes at the gym

Friday - Body Pump (moved over from Wednesday's unplanned rest day)

Saturday - unplanned rest day.  I started feeling sick Friday afternoon and it continued all weekend :(  It was just a cold but I was having a really hard time breathing.  So I ended up just walking in the mornings so I'd at least have time on my feet and not get out of the habit of waking up and doing stuff in the mornings.

Sunday - unplanned rest day with a morning walk since I was still sick. Faster pace and longer distance since I was feeling better than Saturday.  Also took the time for some photos.

So that was my week.  It started well but ended with a fizzle.  I think the cold has mostly run it's course and I feel like I'm back to about 80%.  Hopefully back to 100% by tomorrow!  I'm linking up   with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

 Weekly Wrap 51 Taste the Rainbow

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday 5 - Olympics

Happy Friday!  The week has flown by again but I guess that's what happens when you're busy.  And I have a busy weekend ahead of me so I'm sure it will fly by too.  But first, its time to link up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday Five, with this week's theme being favorites.  The Olympics are almost over and I've been enjoying watching them, so I thought I'd right about 5 favorite things from the Olympics.

1. US Women's gymnastics - I pretty much loved watching everything about the US Women's gymnastics team.  They were all amazing and it was impressive how much they dominated the competition.  Though I did feel bad for poor Gabby Douglas and what she has had to deal with in the press and social media.
2. Usain Bolt - He is just so charming!  I really enjoyed watching him and how nice he is to his fans, his hamming it up, his camaraderie with fellow runners, and of course the running.
3.  New sports - This is one of the things I love about the Olympics every time.  It gives us an opportunity to see sports that we wouldn't have watched otherwise, and may not even have heard of.  I watched a bit of the trampoline, which I had no idea was an Olympic event.
4. World records breaking - It seems like a lot of records are being broken on the track and in the pool.  Every time, it is so exciting to see someone doing something that no one has done before.  The women's 10k was especially crazy with the world record broken by 14 seconds and lots of national records being broken as well.
5.  Sportsmanship - This is the other thing I love about the Olympics every time.  It seems like there are always wonderful stories about sportsmanship from teammates supporting each other to strangers from different countries reaching out a helping hand.  One of the most notable from this year is the Women's 5000 meter trials when 2 runners fell and the US runner took the time to help the other athlete up and and encourage her to finish.

There have been so many things I've enjoyed about this Olympics that it was hard to narrow it down to 5.  Sadly, there have been some negatives as well but I guess that's inevitable.  I'm concentrating on the positives though :)

Speaking of positives, cute animal videos and the Olympics.  Because why not?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Frederick Women's Distance Festival 5k

This past weekend, I ran a 5k as part of the Frederick Women's Distance Festival.  I just signed up a couple weeks before the race as a friend of mine lives near Frederick. Maryland and wanted company for the race.  It's not that far from me so I figured, why not?

Well, it ended up being one of the hottest days of the year.  Once I saw that forecast, I began to regret my decision.  But before we get to the specifics of my experience, a little about the race itself.  From their website - "In 1979, the RRCA started the Women's Distance Festival in response to the lack of distance running events in the Olympics Games for women.  The first Women’s Distance Festival events were held on July 13, 1980, the date of the men’s marathon at the Moscow Olympics. Today, the Women’s Distance Festival celebrates the history of women’s rights to participate in running events at any distance and at any age. While women’s participation in distance running nearly matches that of men, the Women’s Distance Festival continues to serve as a celebration of the determination and dedication of women runners across the country."

Race day included a 1k run for girls and then a 5k run/walk.  It is part of the Maryland Women's Distance Festival Grand Prix series which has a total of nine 5k races across the state.

5k race map

Back to my experience and it being one of the hottest days of the year.  It was already 80 degrees by the time I left the house at 6am.  Frederick was a bit of a drive for me but I got there around 6:45 and easily found parking.  The race was at a local community college which made the logistics really easy.  There was plentiful parking.  Also, there was an air conditioned inside area where race registration and packet pick up was being held.  I went in, looked up my number, and got my bib with no problems.  My car was also close enough that I could just run back to the car to put the shirt and bag away.

Warm up

At this point, I found my friend and we did a quick 10 minute warm up.  We had planned to do around 2 miles (hence the getting there so early) but it was so hot that we were sweating just from standing outside.  So we shortened the warm up and then just stretched and chatted a bit while watching a bit of the kids 1k.  There were a lot of cute kids and cute dogs wandering around to keep our attention.

A lot slower in mile 3!

The 5k started at 8am.  It was hot, humid and sunny.  The race was essentially 2 loops, the first loop in a neighborhood and the second around the community college.  There was unfortunately not a lot of shade during the second loop and my time definitely slipped as we got further toward the heat of the day with no shade.

But the race was really well organized.  There were 2 water stops, and there were plenty of volunteers, who were all enthusiastically supportive.  There were some rolling hills and uphill the second half of the race but the elevation changes weren't too bad.

After the race, we were given a cold bottle of water and it felt like the best thing ever.  I poured half of it over myself and drank the rest.  We were also given a carnation and then I walked straight into the air conditioned building. 

There was the standard food options in there, such as bananas, watermelon, and bagels as well as more water and bottles of chocolate milk.  There was also free ice cream!  I had some lime sorbet and it was just what I needed.

We then walked around and checked out some of the sponsor tables.  There was a little photo booth set up so we got our photo taken.  There was a lot of stuff being raffled off, but alas, we did not win anything.  There were also sponsor tables outside in the parking lot so we checked them out on our way back to the parking lots.  One of them was a local running store where you could do challenges against employees to win prizes.  I did push-ups and my friend did wall sits.  We both won and received a coupon for 15% off running shoes.  I have a sneaking suspicion that they let us win.

So that was it for the race.  I had a good time overall but the heat was just killer that day.  There isn't much the race could do about that but here's my summary.

Pros - Well organized, easy race day bib pick up, lots of parking, great volunteers, varied course with the neighborhood and then the community college.

Negatives - 8am start in August, I really wish the race had started at 7am.  Also, lack of shade, particularly on the second half of the course.  I wonder if the course could be reversed so that there is more shade toward the end of the race?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Weekly Review

I can't believe it's already Monday!  The weekend flew by and it's time for another weekly review.  This was another good week and I got in all of my planned work outs.  This is so rare that I feel great when it does happen!

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - Body pump at the gym

Wednesday - I got up early to get in a short run before work

Thursday - 40 minutes at the gym

Afterward, I met up with some friends to watch the Olympics.  In addition to the Olympics, they were dog sitting one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met so that made the evening even more fun.

Friday - Rest day with some recovery yoga in the evening

Perry thinks yoga goes better with obstacles.

Saturday - A hot and sweaty 5k plus a 10 minute warm up with a friend in the morning.  I'll review it later in the week.  It was a good race for the most part but it was one of the hottest days we've had so far and it was already 80 degrees by the time I left the house at 6am.

Sunday - Body pump class in the morning followed by using some free movie tickets we had to see Star Trek.  I really enjoyed the movie.

So that was my week!  It was a low key weekend.  We purposely tried not to schedule anything so we had time to get a lot of errands and household stuff done.  And that also left time for watching the Olympics and snuggling with the cats :)

I hope that you all had a good week too!  I'm linking up   with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

 Weekly Wrap 51 Taste the Rainbow

Monday, August 8, 2016

Weekly review

Another Summer week in the books.  I'm pretty happy with how this week went.  I had to shuffle things around a bit but got in three cardio sessions and 2 cross training activities plus lots of walking.  So let's get to the details.

My steps for the week

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - Body pump and since it was a nice evening, 20 minute cool down walk outside instead of on cooling down on the elliptical

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - 40 minutes at the gym

Friday - unplanned rest day.  I meant to get up before work to run but it didn't happen.

Saturday - I moved the Friday run to Saturday morning instead of strength training.  I saw a pretty painted storm drain on the route.

Sunday - Met up with friends for a 5-6 mile run.  To add to the list of weird things seen on a run, someone had randomly placed a toilet seat in a tree.  It was pretty high up and deliberately placed so it definitely looked like someone did it on purpose.  Not sure why though.

After the run, Mike and I drove down to North Beach on the Chesapeake Bay and had a nice little beach day.

In the evening, I did some yoga with Adrienne.

So that was my week.  I hope that you all had a good week too!  I'm linking up   with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

 Weekly Wrap 51 Taste the Rainbow

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Five - self care

It's already Friday!  This week has seemed to have flown by.  I'm looking forward to the weekend but first, it's time to link up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five!  This week's theme is fitness but I'm going to think of fitness in the larger sense and talk about some things I've been doing to work on my emotional fitness recently.

1. Food - Before the Summer, I had been eating out a lot and a lot of it was junk.  I've really been making an effort to eat at home more.  And of course, Summer makes that easier when there is so much great produce around.  It's better on my wallet and waist line, but I've also noticed that I just all around feel better when I'm in charge of what I'm putting in my body.

Homemade gazpacho, delicious and refreshing!

2.  Step away from the scale - I have also been obsessing over the scale.  Like getting on it multiple times a day obsessing.  It's not healthy for me mentally and I am making a promise to myself to stop.  Instead, I'm going to concentrate on things that make me feel good like being active and eating well.

3. Friends and family - Another thing that's been really fulfilling lately is spending more time with friends and family.  I've had a lot of high quality social time in July and I feel great about that.

 NYC with friends

4. Solitude - But I'm also trying to listen to my body and what I need.  I'm an introvert at heart and there are times I just need to be alone and have quiet time.  So I sent Mike off to happy hour with friends along yesterday.  I skipped in favor of staying at home with a book and music.  And this weekend, the two of us are planning to take a day trip to a local bay beach.  We went last year and got there early, which was lovely.  There was hardly anyone at the beach and enjoying the sand andthe water with little crowd was soothing to my soul.

Last year at the same beach

5. Kitty cuddles! And of course, Kitty cuddles always work to make me feel at peace.

Though Perry wasn't happy to have to share my lap with a computer

I have to keep reminding myself how much better I feel when I think of fitness as a holistic thing and prioritize my mental and emotional fitness as well as my physical fitness.  Sometimes things get busy and it's hard to keep that front of mind, but I've definitely been working on it in July and plan to continue it into August.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Riley's Rumble 8k

This past weekend, I met up with a couple friends to run the Riley's Rumble 8k.  This is a local half marathon and this year for the first time, it included an 8k option as well.  Both races are essentially an out and back with an extra loop at the beginning.  The 8k was just the first part of the half marathon course.

The race is known for "the three H's" which are heat, humidity and hills.  It certainly lived up to the reputation!  It actually wasn't too hot that morning but the humidity was 94% according to Garmin.  And the sun definitely came out to visit toward the later half of the race.  But we certainly weren't doing this race for time.  The 8k distance fit into the length we wanted to run this weekend and it seemed like a fun way to try a challenging race without having to go all the way to 13.1 miles.  We weren't worried about the time as there wasn't really a time limit for the 8k.  The half marathon had a 15 minute per mile limit and since the 8k was on the same course, it had the same amount of time.

It was also a relatively small race.  According to the results, there were 416 finishers for the half and 115 for the 8k.  The logistics were easy for this race.  There was race day registration and bib pick up.  If you were already a member of Montgomery County Road Runners, you just used your existing bib and shoe tag so we didn't even have to pick anything up.  Even better, the race was free for members!  For non members, it was only $25 for the half and $15 for the 8k.  The race started at 7am to try to beat the heat and the start/finish was be a local recreation center so there was plenty of parking.  The course never felt congested and actually felt pretty empty after the 8k runners split from the half marathon.

In addition to the low price/free for members, free race photos! (I'm in the pink shirt and grey skirt)

Another plus for the race is that it was a beautiful area with some really pretty scenery which helped to make up for the hills a bit.  The course was on a local road so it was paved.  There were plenty of trees on the sides of the road, so they helped provide shade, though there still seemed to be a lot of sun on the way back.

As for my own experience, it went pretty well.  I didn't have any expectations for pace and I was just trying to use this as a good way for some hill training.  I was able to run up most of the hills though there was one long one near the end where I had to insert extra walk intervals.  I enjoyed the race and the scenery and tried to keep my mind off the humidity and hills :) My official time was 1:05:40 so pretty close to the time from my Garmin below.

Pros: easy logistics, plenty of parking, pretty course, not congested, adequate water stops, low price or free and free photos, watermelon slices available after the race!

Cons:  Not many and none in the control of the race - humidity, hills, and farmhouse smells at some points on the course

All smiles with the finish line in sight, thinking of the watermelon available after the race :)