Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nuun! A review.

I'm just going to put it right out there, I'm a huge fan of Nuun.

I started using this electrolyte drink a couple of years ago, while I was training for the Rochester Marathon. For many reasons, it became one of my running staples. And here's why:

Convenience:  Nuun comes in a tube of 12 tablets, that fits easily into my bag.  To drink it, you drop one tablet into a 16 oz bottle of water. This is the Lemon Tea flavor, which I have been curious about.

Wait a couple of minutes, and it's ready. It has a bit of carbonation, so the water bottle spurts a little when you open it.

Taste: I used to drink Powerade, because it had zero calories, but it had a chemically aftertaste.  Nuun tastes really good, even when it is room temperature, and they have 11 flavors to choose from, including Strawberry Lemonade, Grape, Lemon-Lime and TriBerry.  It does contain important electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and calcium, but it doesn't contain sugar, with only 7-8 calories per tablet.

The Lemon Tea flavor was nice and light, and it contains a small amount of caffeine. I tried it the morning after the Superbowl, not only did I need some electrolytes, but a bit more caffeine than what I got from my morning cup of joe.

Cost: I used to buy 16 oz bottles of Powerade for a dollar each, $12 for 12 bottles. A tube of Nuun is roughly half the cost, for the same amount of ounces.  Plus I use one reusable water bottle, which equals less waste.

Also, I think they're a great company, because last year they donated to a box of Nuun to my fundraising giveaway to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation.

Now do you see why I'm a fan?

*Note, I was sent samples of Nuun for the purpose of this review. The opinions on the product are my own.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My week so far.

I went and got my hair cut and colored the other night.  I was verrrry tempted to do something really different, as in cut it all off, or go back to red.  Instead I settled for a lighter shade of brown, which they will turn even lighter the next time I go in. I haven't been blondish in a while, but I think it's time.

The kids and I had dentist appointments today.  My blood pressure was taken, and  it was 120 over 88, which is a little high. I was completely surprised, my bp has never been high in my life. I don't know what that's all about, especially since I eat my oatmeal.

This is what it looks like before I mix it up. Oats topped with cinnamon, walnuts, dried cherries, some coconut, and a few mini chocolate morsels. 

Half Marathon training is going well, the plan is to run 8 miles on Saturday with my girls. April 15th is coming up fast.

Did you know that Beyonce trademarked Blue Ivy's name?  Seriously.

I kept trying to get into iTunes, until I realized my parental control was blocking the site.  I couldn't get that song Cannonball by The Breeders out of my head.  So I bought it.

I registered for the St. Patty's Day run, decorated my house in green shamrocks, and found my green socks. All I need to do now is to pick up some buttermilk to make soda bread. I love this time of year.

I'm working on a vlog. Don't laugh when I post it.

Another one of our televisions bit the dust.  Best Buy loves us.

We have 8 boxes of girl scout cookies, an apple pie in the freezer, and various leftover candy from Christmas and Valentine's Day.  Good thing it's Lent and that I gave up sweets.

Thanks to everyone who entered the BTB Sunglasses giveaway, I used random.org to choose a winner and it is Paige from The Last Doughnut!  Congrats!

Friday, February 17, 2012

DVD's and New Running Shoes Make Me Happy

I have a bruise on the top of my foot.

It's a perfect circle, right beneath my toes. I'm in dire need of a pedicure, so won't post a photo, but I don't know how the heck I got it.  It's sore too.  The only thing I can think of is that I had my shoes laced too tightly for my last run.  But of course I immediately think I have a stress fracture, or a muscle strain.  With my luck, that would be about right.

I'm feeling good otherwise, I've stuck to my training schedule, I had a nice run on Valentines Day, which was mandatory, because I knew Mike would come home with chocolate for me. When my siblings and I were kids, my Mom always gave us a heart shaped Whitman's sampler for Valentines Day.  So Mike keeps up the tradition, and this year, I got a bonus gift:

Breaking Dawn Baby.

I watched it the next day, while I dealt with a stomach bug, which made missing my run easier to deal with.

Then the mailman brought me this:

My birthday present from one of my BFF's.  We used to watch The Fact's of Life for hours, while eating Elio's pizza and Cape Cod Potato Chips.  And sometime beer.  Watching the Fact's will really make my treadmill time more enjoyable.

I was in dire need of new running shoes, and I felt well enough to go to Fleet Feet yesterday afternoon. As usual, I tried on a few different pairs including Mizuno and New Balance, but once again came back to the Brooks Adrenaline.  Size 11.5.

Aren't they pretty?

Did you enter my BTB Sunglasses giveaway yet?? Check it out here!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BTB Sunglasses, Review and Giveaway!

The snow we had over the weekend is already melting.  The sun was out yesterday afternoon, and the roads were dry, so I headed out for a four mile run, and tested out a pair of sunglasses.

BTB Sunglasses is a new brand of sunglasses started in part to fund the BTB Foundation. Their mission is to of assist in the fight against childhood obesity, by promoting youth participation in all ball sports for a healthier lifestyle.  A portion of every sale on the BTB Sunglasses website goes towards this cause.

How cool is that?

BTB has a range of styles, depending on your face size and activity, such as hiking, biking, water sports, and of course, running!  Mike is a golfer, and he has a tendency to lose sunglasses, I found a pair of golf sunglasses that might work as a gift for Father's Day.

I chose the 500 series, please excuse my post run sweaty hair.

I was surprised at how light weight they are, and I like how they wrap around my head, while providing full eye coverage.  It drives me nuts when glasses move around, or slide down my nose as I run, but these stayed in place.  The frame is thin, but they're durable, here is a link to a video on YouTube  where they shoot a pair of glasses with a shotgun, and they make it through unscathed.

I'm a fan.


Here is how you can enter to win a pair of the sunglasses of your choice (except polarized models, and sorry, giveaway is only open to U.S. residents):

Do any of the following, just leave me a comment, telling me what you did:

1.Go to the BTB website here, and sign up for their newsletter via email.  If you don't win my giveaway, you're still eligible for BTB's monthly drawing to win free glasses.

2. Follow BTB on twitter here, or

3. on facebook, here!

If you need new specs ASAP, use code "BAKER30" to receive 30% off your order!

I'll choose a winner using random.org on Wednesday, February 22nd.


note: I was sent a pair of sunglasses for the purpose of this review. The opinions on the product are my own.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Virtual Run for Sherry Arnold

Winter has been mild in Syracuse this year, which is bizarre. Last winter we had over 120 inches of snowfall, and this year? Maybe 30?  Earlier in the week I asked my running buddies Jeannine and Norine if they wanted to head out and run the Tipp Hill Shamrock Run course this weekend, since it's coming up in a few weeks.  Although it's only four miles, it's full of killer hills, so it's a good idea to run it a few times before race day.

I also wanted to take part in Shut Up And Run's Virtual Run for her cousin Sherry Arnold, which is what we did today.  I woke up and it was in the twenties, we actually got a dusting of snow last night, and it was still coming down a bit when I left the house.  I made it to Burnett Park by eight o'clock, and we took off.

It was pretty icy in spots, I kept my eyes on my feet the whole time.  It felt good to be out in the cold, moving up and down the hills.  Although I had to walk down one in particular, I easily could have wiped out

I thought of Sherry more than once.

This is the worst hill, and it comes at the end of the race, it's a steady climb to the finish.  There is a stop sign at the top, and I keep it in my sight, because once I reach it, I know the worst is over.

That's Jeannine.

It was a really good run.  

This virtual race was a wonderful way to celebrate the life of a fellow runner.

I wish Sherry's family peace.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Have you run in a cotton shirt?

My Dad came up to visit last weekend, and he brought a bunch of old photos for us to look at. I found this one of him, it's from sometime in the eighties:

I couldn't help laughing over the regular old cotton shirt, tucked into his shorts, and the big socks.  Compare that to what I'm going to wear on my run tomorrow, the temps are going to be in the twenties, so I'll put on an Under Armour type shirt, with a tech shirt over it, Nike Dry-Fit pants, and anti-blister, cushioned socks.  Running clothes have come a looooong way.  

He's a Tarheel, so he wanted to check out the Dome up at Syracuse University.  We went to the women's basketball game, Eliza had a ball with Otto.

I've been good this week, I going on my fifth day without chocolate, and I ran Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  Wednesday I did the Kathy Kaehler DVD, the exercises seem simple to me, but they definitely give a burn.  Today I'll tackle the kettle bell.  I have to remind myself about the food journal, I missed all of Wednesday, and most of Thursday.

I changed my attitude a bit about things this week.  Instead of harping on myself about what I haven't done, I'm praising myself for what I have done.  

And I think it's making a difference. 

Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Since Google Friend Connect is being retired, I've been going through blogs and subscribing through a feed, or liking on Facebook.  I created a Facebook page of my own (thanks for the reminder Michelle), which you can follow by clicking on the button on my sidebar, or if you prefer, through email or a feed.

This upcoming Saturday morning, I'm participating in SUAR's Virtual Race for Sherry Arnold, the wife, mother, runner, teacher, who was abducted while out on a run, and then murdered.  You can find more info on the race HERE.

Last week I posted my 11 Random Things, then found out I was also tagged by The Irondiva Colleen, MCM Mama, and Tortuga Runner from Tales of an Ambitious Slacker.  So I'll answer those questions now:

Colleen asked:

1. Where is one place in the world you'd love to travel?  Japan! 
2. What one food could you eat for every meal? Pizza, even a bad pizza is a good pizza.
3. If you were a super hero, what power would you possess? I think it would be cool to read minds.
4. If you won the lottery, would you still work? I would volunteer and pay it forward.
5. You are stranded on a deserted island... what three things do you have with you? lip balm, a book, water
6. If you could bring one person to the island, who would it be? My husband, because my kids have their whole lives to visit a deserted island.
7. What's your favorite holiday? It's a tie between St. Patrick's Day and Christmas.
8. What movie could you watch over and over and over? Tommy Boy.
9. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? Ten, before I bite it.
10. Would you rather be really hot or really cold? Really hot, I love a good sweat.
11.  If you could change just one thing about yourself, what would it be? To not be so impatient.

MCM Mama asked:

1. Do you sleep with a lovey? If so, what?  Does my husband count?
2. Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation? Somewhere warm where I can swim and veg out.
3. Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, where did you go? I went on a cruise once with Mike and his family. We went to Aruba, St. Thomas, Venezuela, Dominica, and Grenada.  One night when I was in the shower, the ship suddenly slowed down, and I bumped into the shower stall. Apparently two girls missed the ship, and they got a water taxi to bring them to the ship.
4. What’s your favorite day of the week? I love Thursday, because then the weekend is just one day away.
5. Is there a vegetable that you absolutely refuse to eat? I'm not a fan of green peppers, they give me heartburn.
6. How close to where you were born do you live? About 4 hours away. I was born in Queens.
7. How many states have you lived in? Just one, NY. But I've lived in Long Island, Queens,  Cortland, Rochester and now Syracuse.
8. Favorite snack? some kind of combination of cheese and crackers.
9. Favorite non-running related blog? MODG is pretty funny.
10. Are you addicted to pinterest? (find me there if you are LOL) I like it, but I don't think I've hit addiction yet.
11. What’s your favorite room in your current house? I love our family room, it has two big couches, a fireplace, a wall of french doors, and a vaulted ceiling.

Tortuga Runner asked:

  1. What is your favorite TV show? It used to be The Office, but I think it's gone downhill since Michael left.
  2. What is your favorite cheese? Crumbly bleu cheese
  3. What is your favorite post race body restoration type activity?a long, hot shower.
  4. If you had to jump right now would you prefer side-to-side or up and down? hmmmm. After having kids I'd have to say side-to-side.
  5. FroYo or Ice Cream? I'd rather have a small dish of the real thing.
  6. Sticking with the James Bond question I got, Martini: shaken or stirred? shaken, gotta mix things well.
  7. What is your worst chaffing area on a long distance run? inner thigh. ouch.
  8. Do you barefoot run as part of your training? no, but I walk around barefoot as much as I can.
  9. What is your favorite book of all time?
  10. Now for the fun stuff, forget what you are doing now, if salary wasn't an issue what would your dream job be? I used to bartend and wait tables, I would love to own a restaurant.
  11. Oops, forgot #11-surprise me. I haven't had chocolate in 3 days.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Post #499

You know how on New Years Day you feel like it's a fresh start, and all your resolutions are in place?  I feel like today is my New Years Day.  I've had a few false starts, finding the motivation to run, and to eat well....but I think I've been eating too well.

I've been looking at life in terms of Before the NYC Marathon, and After the Marathon.  Sometimes I forget that I ran it, because my father in law had such a terrible stroke shortly thereafter.  Every day brings something different, it's been an emotional roller coaster.  We got through Thanksgiving and Christmas, then escaped to Florida, and then I turned 40.  The kids have schoolwork, cub scouts and dance, we've had a steady stream of house guests for the past three weeks. I haven't been running a much as I should have, and my jeans have gotten tighter.

So as we all yelled at the television last night in excitement (GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!), I decided that this Monday morning I would truly get back on track. I broke out my notebook, I'm starting a food journal (so far I've written down Kashi Go Lean cereal and coffee), and since it's going to be 50 degrees today, I'm taking Frank for a run this afternoon.

Right now my tight jeans are the fuel for my fire, but I'm curious, how do you motivate yourself out of a slump?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Want to win a treadmill from Vitalicious??

Have you ever tried any of the healthy baked goods from Vitalicious?  I'm a fan of their 100 calorie Vita Tops, especially the chocolate mint.

They have a new addition to the Vita line, Mini VitaCakes, that have just 50 calories, one gram of fat, contain 15 vitamins and nutrients, and are high in fiber. You must keep them in the freezer, since they don't contain preservatives, but they thaw out fast sitting on the counter, or better yet, in the microwave.

I tried the Fudgy Chocolate, and the addition of the chocolate chips made me especially happy.

They're the perfect size for a little snack, and since they're only 50 calories, I was able to make some additions to the cakes, depending on my mood. 

Banana's were good, but I bet strawberries would be even better.

A couple of squirts of light whipped cream added 20 calories, and 1.5 grams of fat.

I was in a nutty mood, so this one was topped with almond butter.  Yum.

You can even put two cakes, or a VitaTop in this case that fits in my purse. And if you saw the inside of my purse, you'd know that they would be crushed in about two seconds without the case. 

Vitalicious is currently running a “Walk It Off in 7 Minutes” Facebook Sweepstakes, and one grand prize winner will receive a LifeSpan TR 1200-DT Desktop Treadmill ($1,999 retail value)!!!!! Ten runners-up will receive a 48-pack of the new 50-calorie Fudgy Chocolate Mini VitaCakes ($48 Retail Value).

To enter, visit the Vitalicious Facebook  page HERE.  The sweepstakes will run through March 4, 2012,

Good Luck!

*Note: I was sent a package of VitaCakes for the purpose of this review, the opinions on the product are my own.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

There was cake. And a Kettle Bell Winner.

I had a fantastic birthday.

I have the greatest, most creative friends, who send me gifts like this:

I have a great husband, who took the day off from work, so that he could send me for a day of pampering, while taking care of business on the home front.

And I came home to this:


And after all that, I managed to choose the winner of the Bob Harper Kettle Bell giveaway, using random.org:

Congrats to Jen from Miles, Muscles, and Mommyhood! And thanks to everyone who gave me some really yummy looking soup recipes!!!!

Now, I better go for a run, because there is still cake in the freezer.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That's All She Wrote

Before I started blogging, I wrote in these:

It started with a little red book that I received for my eighth birthday, "One Year Diary" was written across the front in gold script, with a lock that I could open with a key.  It contained mind blowing entries, such as “went for ice cream.” As I got older the notes were longer, it was a place I for me to rid my mind of any confusion or frustration, things I didn't care to talk about with anyone, a safe place to record my thoughts.

Through the years I’ve written about my diet and exercise goals and struggles.  The ups and downs as I followed the path of my career.  My two pregnancies, the birth of my children, my decision to become a Stay At Home Mom.  This is how this blog came to fruition.  It’s another outlet to share my thoughts as I strive for balance in all things: family, food, fitness.  Where I found the confidence to make my marathon goal a reality, times two.  Where I got over my fears, and decided to take on a triathlon.  

Along the way, I’ve connected with many others who have a similar mindset, who inspire me. 

And in turn, I’ve been told I inspire them.

I’m at the starting line of a new decade, and it’s time for me to take on a dream that has been lurking underneath all my writing. 

To seek out opportunities that allow me to share what I’ve learned in my own journey, with others. 

Yesterday I had a massage, and the therapist asked me which areas I needed the most attention. I talked about the tension in my deltoids, my tight IT bands, and sore hamstrings. 

He then asked, “You know a lot about the human anatomy, are you in the medical field?”

And I replied, “No. I’m a Runner.”