Friday, March 30, 2012

What did you think of Katniss?

I have 12 miles planned for today, and I'm meeting J & N at lunchtime to run some hills.  The one thing about mid-day long runs, is that fuel can be a bit tricky. I don't want to have anything too heavy right before we go, but I know I'm going to be hungry.  So right now I'm having coffee and a banana. I broke out a NYC bagel out of the freezer, and I'll have that mid-morning with some peanut butter. When I lace up my shoes I'll have a honey stinger waffle, with a Vega drink.  During the run I'll refuel with some chews.

We'll see how that works.

Let's talk Hunger Games.

I really liked the movie, I thought they did a good job of bringing the book to life, and I loved Lenny Kravitz's gold eyeliner. Now in the book, the lead character, Katniss is described as thin, due to starvation.  She spends her days hunting in the woods with a bow and arrow, in order for her family to survive. In the movie, Katniss is played by Jennifer Lawrence, and she looks fit and strong, but some critics are saying she looks too "big" for the role.

I didn't think she looked too big, I thought she looked like she should have, a smart, strong, tough girl who could run through the woods and climb trees and take on her fellow tributes.

Eliza is going to be a teenager before I know it, and I'm going to do everything I can for her to have a positive body image.  She's going to be bombarded with pictures of models and actresses, and I want her to know that if you live a healthy lifestyle, you will look healthy.  

And I'll let her see the Hunger Games when the time is right.

Tell me, have you seen the movie?  If so, what did you think of Jennifer/Katniss?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Running With Spatulas Virtual Run

When Mike got home from work tonight, I grabbed two spatula's and said: 

"Take a photo of me running around the deck with my cellphone."
Mike: Why are you holding your cellphone?
Me: No, not of me with the cellphone, me running with spatulas.  Take the photo using my cellphone. 
Mike: O-kay.....why?
Me: It's for a virtual run, I did it this morning on the treadmill, and I couldn't take a photo of myself running with spatulas.
Mike: huh?
Me: It's a blog thing.
Mike: Oh. Okay. Smile.


I love virtual races, it's fun to push myself to race a few miles, when I might have just "run."

Ali, from Running With Spatula's cracks me up, and she ran a relay last weekend holding two spatula's!!!  I was going to run outside today, but when I woke up it was raining, and I haven't been on the treadmill for a while, so down to the basement I went. 

And ran. With spatula's on the treadmill.  And I had to take crappy looking pictures with my cellphone because I still haven't gotten an new battery charger for the camera.  

But it was a great run.  My time:

My 10k evidence:

I was pretty happy with that. 

Thanks Ali!!! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Runner Handheld Bottle Review

I like doing my long runs on Friday.  When I used to run on Saturday mornings, I would be antsy Friday night, feeling like I could just take off and do it right then and there.  I started running on Friday last year during marathon training, I like how I can take off after Eliza gets on the bus, and once I'm finished, I have my whole weekend ahead of me.

So this past Friday, Jeannine and Norine (aka my running buddies) were able to run as well, so we headed out to do 11 miles around my neighborhood.  Frank was bugging out when he saw all of us in our running gear, so we brought him along for part of the run.  That made him a happy doggie.

I figured that was a perfect time to test out a new handheld water bottle, called The Runner, from Clean Bottle.  If I bring water along with me while running, I use my fuel belt, or make due with water fountains, so I was curious about the handheld.

There are a few cool features for this bottle, the first is the clear zippered pocket that holds your cellphone. My android fit inside perfectly, and there is a hole at the top that you can use to plug in headphones.  As I ran along I could see if I got a tweet or email.  There are also two stretchy bands on the bottom, to hold a gels, and there was enough room in the pocket for money or keys.   Lastly, the top and bottom come off, so it's easy to clean.

The bottle fit comfortably in my hand, but I'm not used to running with a handheld bottle, so it did feel a bit heavy.  I liked the fact that my phone was in my hand, and not banging around in a pocket.

If handheld bottles are your preferred way to carry water, I would definitely say to give this a try.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Running giveaway, congrats to Mike, Wells L, and Genevieve.

Send me an email and I'll get you set up!

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What A March We're Having!

Sunday was a spring cleaning day at our house. We threw open all the windows, and cleaned the house from top to bottom, including the closets, and all those drawers that I toss things into just to get them out of the way. Mike decided to clean out the one in the kitchen. Clean he did. He accidentally threw out the battery charger for my still fairly new camera. Which means the only photos I can take right now are through my phone. I'm not happy.

I'm still enjoying this spring/summer like weather. I rode my bike on Tuesday, and will do so again this afternoon. It's MARCH. I don't think I've ridden my bike outdoors in March in my life!  Frank and I ran 6 miles yesterday in the 80 degree temps, and worked up an extra good sweat. I have 11 miles on tap for tomorrow, and can't wait.

Who is going to see Hunger Games?? One of the advantages of having your husband as your boss, is that he's okay with me playing hookie one afternoon next week, so I can go see it while all the kids are in school.  When I realized that was indeed Lenny Kravitz in the trailer, I got even more excited.

The season of Lent means no meat on Friday's, but it's never a big deal for us, because we eat meat free meals a few times a week.  Like yesterday for example, when I grilled a salmon burger, put it on a warm roll, added the last of the field greens, and decided to go outside to eat. Frank decided to jump up on me, and the burger landed in the dirt. And he inhaled it. Luckily I had another one in the freezer, but I had to have it on bread, so it wasn't as good.

Tim Tebow is coming to NYC???  That will be interesting for sure.  We went to the JETS training camp two summers ago, I'll bet it will be especially mobbed this year.

Big day today for Syracuse!  Hoping they can make it through the Sweet 16! When they won in 2003, I won my office pool, no one believed it would happen, but I did. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide: Giveaway!

I am completely confused with this weather. I've been wearing shorts for days, the windows in the house are all wide open, and the winter cobwebs have been blown away.  And its, um, MARCH!  My neighbor took out the stakes that line his driveway for the snowplow, I told him he better not have jinxed us.

While Frank and I have been running in this lovely weather, I've been focusing on form, my stride, all that good stuff.  A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide.  I'm far from a beginner, but I found it to be a great read.

The author Ryan Robert, lives in Homer Alaska, and logs about 1,500 miles a year running.  He took what he learned from being a coach and firefighter for the Forest Service, and put together this guide to running.  

The book starts with a chapter on how to run: how to choose the right footwear, the importance of proper form, breathing, and an explanation of the different heart rate zones.  I liked how he focused on dynamic stretching as a warm up for a run, how static stretching does little for our muscles, and that a brisk walk, then jog, as well as rolling body movements (windmills, hoola hoop motions etc) are a good way to get ready for a run.

One other focus is on motivation, which I need once in a while! One tip was to put a dollar in a jar for each time you run...that can add up fast, which you can then use to reward yourself for putting in all those miles. 

There are other sections on nutrition, how to run in adverse conditions, as well as one area that I always seem to deal with, injury prevention.  

The book ends with various training schedules, depending on your fitness level, and a section on finding  inspiration.

I liked this passage in particular:

What is wonderful about running is that it is completely under our control. There are no gears, helmets, poles, clips, bindings, or other mechanical trappings to buy and fuss with. Running is only us and the trail or road, and the faith that what we are doing will bring its own rewards in time. We are in charge of how complicated or simple we make it, how we treat our bodies in the time between runs, and ultimately our entire attitude toward running. 


You can find The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide on, just click here.  I read this book on my laptop after I downloaded Amazon's Kindle for PC application.  

Now for the giveaway, three readers will win a digital copy (Yay! open to all readers everywhere!), to enter, just leave me a comment.  I'll choose the winners on Sunday March 25th.  

You can also check out their facebook page here, for other chances to win.

Good Luck!

*Note, I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of this review, my thoughts on the book are my own.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Do you trust in yourself? Or trust in your plan?

See this?

It's milk dyed green for Miss E's St. Patty's Day party at school. It had just rolled onto the floor from the passenger seat, luckily it just got dented, not spilled. Otherwise I'd be facing a room of twenty angry 5 year old's.

Yes, I love this time of year.  We're spending Saturday at the parade with friends, followed by corned beef and cabbage at their house.  While we're there I plan on swiping my friend Bill's set of P90X DVD's.  My half marathon is exactly a month away, and I thought I would throw in a bit of cross training  torture exercise, and get my core straightened out once and for all.

Something has come over me these past few months regarding my training, mainly that I'm not worried about it. It gets to a point where you know what your body can do, and you embrace it, and trust in it. I'm sort of winging my training for this upcoming race, I know what I need to do to get ready, but I'm not following a specific plan to a T.  This is the first time I've done that, and I feel okay about it.

At the same time though, it's a bit scary, because what if I do screw up race day, and have a lousy race, or come away from it feeling like I could do better?

I run several times a week, on my last 9 miler I did it without water or extra fuel, the only times I stopped was because my running buddies had to toss a jacket, or dig out a gel.  But I felt great the whole time.

Has running become second hand?

Or I should say, second foot?

Where do you find trust? In yourself? or your training? Both??

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vega One....a review.

Back in January, I did a review of Vega Sport, a line of 100% plant based goodies used to prepare for, sustain, and recover from your workouts. I'm still dreaming about their chocolate coconut energy bar......

Vega recently reformulated their Whole Food Health Optimizer to Vega One. They took the feedback they received from their fans to create a new formulation, with more antioxidants, probiotics and Omega-3’s per scoop, and an improved taste and consistency.

As with their other products, Vega One is plant based, and is sugar, dairy, gluten and soy free.  But it does have lots of good stuff, one scoop is equal to 3 servings of greens, and it contains 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

I was sent four flavors to sample, Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla Chi, and Natural.

First up was the Vanilla Chi, I mixed it with water in a shaker (they suggest water, juice, or non-dairy beverage), I prefer to add protein powders to my smoothies, but I thought I would give the shaker a try. It did mix up pretty well, but I wasn't a huge fan of the taste, mainly because I don't usually choose Chi flavored beverages.

I tried the rest of the flavors in smoothies, the Berry was a bit sweet.  It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that my favorite flavor was chocolate. I tossed it in the blender with some almond milk, a frozen banana, and about a tablespoon of peanut butter.  YUM. Eliza shared it with me, we drank it so fast I forgot to take a photo.......I even tried licking the inside of the blender, it was so good.

The natural flavor was a close second, all the protein powders I buy are flavored, so this was a nice change.  I could really taste the strawberries and bananas that I added to the mix, again with almond milk.

Frank really wanted some.

I eat my fruits and veggies, but with all the running around I do, I like the smoothie option for getting what my body needs on a daily basis.  And this fits the bill

You don't have to be a vegan to like Vega One, just look like one.

*Photo courtesy of 7 year old Luke.

*Note: I was sent a sample of Vega One for the purpose of this review, the views on the product are my own.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tipperary Hill, Year 3

Friday night I was laying on the couch, listening to the wind, and watching the snow whirling around outside, and I figured, better get my old running shoes out because tomorrow's race might be a bit messy!

This was my third year running the Tipperary Hill Shamrock run.  It's a lot of fun, four miles of up and down, up and down. And up and down for good measure.  It was pretty chilly and snowy race morning, I rode over with Jeanine and Norine, whose husband dropped us off at the start.  We planned on going to the Irish bars in the neighborhood post race, we went back and forth a bit over what time we wanted him to pick us up, but settled on three o'clock, we figured any later would be asking for trouble.  We didn't bring our phones with us, which was a bummer because I wanted to take pictures, but I didn't want it banging around in my sports bra (hello, why can't my running pants have pockets??)

We met up with a couple of friends, as well as Mike's Aunt and Uncle, who were also running.  By the time we lined up at the start, my toes were pretty cold.  My only goal was to finish in under 40 minutes, I really just wanted to run and feel good while enjoying the atmosphere.

There were 3,500 people running, I expected it to be crowded, last year I had to weave around until I found an open spot. Walkers are a part of the race as well, but I didn't come across many of them. It was a pretty uneventful run, I had no problems with the inclines, but I knew I lost time as I went downhill. I slowed way down, I just can't plow downhill, I'm convinced I'll tumble forward and wipe out.  My time was 39:41, a minute and a half longer than last year, but I felt good, so I was happy.

Then we marched down to Coleman's Irish Pub for post race beers, and all of a sudden it was 2:30 (time flies when you're having fun) and decided to stay until four. We trudged over to Nibsy's, and all of a sudden it was 3:45, we ordered one more pitcher, and sucked it down by 4:00.

Harp is yummy.

After I got home I Ate All The Things. Mike made a corned beef on the grill so we had Reubens and roasted butternut squash, and oddly enough, butternut squash sushi from Wegman's, that sounds weird but suited me just fine.  Mike built a fire, which will most likely be the last one for this winter.  I watched Finding Nemo with Eliza, you should have seen her face when I told her the voice of Dory was Ellen.

Pretty good day, huh?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Three: Cancer, Running, Survivor Debacle

Thanks for the comments on my post the other day, it was good to vent, and to know I'm not the only one who feels like that from time to time. : )

I'm channeling that negative energy into something positive, by joining Team Davis! You might have heard about Rev 3's Race Across America, their goal is to raise $100,000 to benefit the Ullman Cancer Fund.  Harmony's husband was diagnosed with cancer late last year, so she put together a team for this race.  From March 26 - April 16th I'll be running my usual neighborhood route, and we'll see how may miles Team Davis can cover, and how many dollars we can raise.  I have family and friends who have battled cancer, so I think this is a really great way to join the fight.  Kelly, Colleen and Jen also have links on their blogs that lead to the donation page for Ullman, so check it out if you can.

Speaking of running, I have a race this weekend, a St. Patty's Day four miler. It's one of my favorites, with a fun, festive atmosphere. The one thing I don't like, is that the last mile is ALL uphill, and how all the fast high school runners stand at the sidelines and watch the rest of us struggle to the finish line.  But I do like the post race beers.

And finally, did anyone catch Survivor last night?  Namely, Colton, and the vile things that came out of his mouth?  I couldn't believe what I was hearing, the names he called Leif, and the way he treated Bill, especially during tribal council. What do you think would have happened if Colton was called names?  Talk about double standard.  Not cool Colton, not cool.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

fighting the feelings

I'm in the process of switching my blog to a new host/format, so my posts have been a bit sporadic. I've had plenty to write about though. I have thoughts and emotions swirling in my brain, but part of me is blocking them, I don't have time for them.

For the most part I feel like myself, but at the same time I'm keeping sad feelings at bay.  When I wake up in the morning, I don't really like what I see when I look in the mirror.  I've put on some pounds, I know exactly how many, and it's annoying me. When I look back on my weight loss challenge posts from this time last year, I don't know what the heck I was complaining about.

Each day I do everything I can to keep things in order, with the kids, and especially for Mike. He has had a rough time with his parents. A couple of years ago his Mom battled breast cancer. She is okay now, but then his Dad had his stroke, which came out of the blue. Mike is making strides with quitting smoking, but he's under a great deal of stress, between family and work. I'm there to rub his back when he cries, and tell him that I know everything is going to be okay.

I don't cry. But I did yesterday when I went to get a Handicap Parking permit for my mother in law's car. I took the application into the town office, and the clerk asked me if my father in law was going to be driving because she needed a copy of his license. I was confused for a second, and I looked down at the words written on the application, and read them aloud to her, that he has quadriplegia due to a stroke. Then she told me she lost her mother to a stroke.

That was fun.

I try to visit my father in law when I can, although it's hard to go because of the kids schedules, and his rehab schedule. When I do go, my heart always sinks when I go through a door that reads "Brain Injury Unit."

The kids haven't seen Grandpa since November, and they talk about him all the time. They understand that he is sick, and that he has a hard time moving, but that is it.  They'll be seeing him soon once they move to their apartment, we're preparing them for what it's going to be like. That he looks the same, but he won't be able to really hug them, but they can give him a kiss. The other night we looked through family photos for Luke's school project, and found one of Grandpa sitting by the lake, smiling away.

I need to run more. I've been running four days a week, I did nine on Saturday in the blustery winds, training for my half marathon that is five weeks away. It was a great run, but I'm afraid that if I run more I'll injure myself before my race.  I think I have to suck it up and just do it.

Running is good therapy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Vlog Much?

Here is a vlog that I did this week for Collagen Sport. Now you know what my voice sounds like!

Happy Weekend!