May 28, 2014

I Needed a LYFT this Morning!

I was super pumped to get to November Project Baltimore this morning as always, but my body was not liking the time my alarm went off. A five day weekend (thanks to a few extra days off) still has me out of sorts. Luckily I had a extra Pure LYFT Energy Stir Stick on me thanks to an opportunity as a Sweat Pink ambassador! 

Pure LYFT Energy Stir Sticks are an energy product that has zero calories, zero taste, and contains as much caffeine as one tall coffee. However the caffeine is natural from green coffee bean extract and also has vitamins A and B complex.  It's easy because you just open the package, remove a little label and dip the plastic stick into a drink for 20 seconds as the powder dissolves.  

I just put this in a glass of water as I ran out the door. It doesn't have any taste and was really undetectable which made me wish I had put it into something flavored.

May 27, 2014

We're Going STREAKING!

Guys, I'm going streaking.

No, not like Will Ferrell in Old School

 After a relaxing, limited-tech long holiday weekend in the woods I'm ready to get ready for summer and marathon training. Eh, after a weekend consisting of hiking, many beers and mint juleps, smores, and sleeping in, I think I am only actually excited for summer.  It actually felt like Memorial Day weekend was the kickoff to summer this year. 

Mid-hike: look at that view!
I'm in luck because Runner's World magazine is sponsoring it's annual summer challenge where you can join and pledge to run a mile a day, every day from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. 

May 20, 2014

Paddling in the Uncomfortable Zone (and my cute new sunglasses!)

Something I realize more and more in life is that the situations that make us uncomfortable turn out to be really great experiences and a chance to grow.

On Sunday I had to chance the take a free Floyo class as part of CapitalSUP's grand opening weekend in Annapolis.  Floyo is a mix of yoga and pilates, all while on a stand up paddleboard. I'm not very experienced with water sports and have never been stand up paddleboarding ever.  
I somehow managed to convince my boyfriend to come,with who's trying to get fit and is supporting my summer goal of doing more outdoor activities. I was really excited because it sounded so fun, but as soon as we got on the dock I was extremely nervous, anxious, and a little scared. It was a small class of around 7 people. Jessie, the founder of Floyo who I know from November Project and her yoga and spin classes, was teaching and did her best to make me feel at ease. I haven't done yoga regularly in a while so trying to do it on a paddleboard on the water made it more difficult. Clearly

Sitting on the dock of the bay...
I paddled on my knees out to the spot where we were going to have class because my legs were so shaky that I didn't want to try to stand up and fall in immediately.  In the beginning of class Scott fell off his board into the water, and after that he felt like he wanted to leave. He finished the class like a champ, even though he's far harder on himself.  

During the warrior poses I was still feeling shaky and had those negative voices in my head. All I thought of was how embarrassed I would be if I fell in. 
I'm in the blue on the right doing a modified warrior pose!
(photo courtesy of Jessie and Floyo's facebook page!)
Eventually I got into the yoga flow and realized, so what? I had said it was my first time being on a paddleboard and if I fell it's nothing to be upset about.  I'm trying something new and uncomfortable.  

May 17, 2014

5 Reasons to be Excited for Summer (Five Friday Faves a day late!) 5/17/14

Okay so yesterday was crazy busy so you're getting my Five Friday Favorites on Saturday, sorry! I'm linking up with the DC bloggers Five Friday linkup too! With the weather finally looking consistently good besides some rainy days, I'm getting even more excited for summer and all the fun it brings! I am warm-weather loving gal for sure. 

Five Friday Favorites: Reasons to be Excited for Summer

1. Sunshine

The warm weather just seems to make everyone happier, especially after the winter that lasted through spring that the Northeast had. I love running downtown and seeing everyone working out, taking walks, and enjoying the weather.   I love flowers,clear skies, and the sun on my face. It makes me want to spend all weekend outdoors!
clear skies and blossoming trees in Philadelphia a month ago!
2. Shorts and Sandals
Honestly, I hate wearing pants. Except yoga pants, which don't really count as pants. I love wearing shorts and tank tops, mostly because it means it isn't freezing cold outside. Also not having to bundle up anymore for running is amazing!  I used to love being barefoot all summer when I was growing up. Now it's great to slip on a pair of flip-flops and head outside!
my current fave Lululemon shorts

May 13, 2014

Natural Beauty Favorites of the Moment featuring Burt's Bees Brightening Line

Mostly what I have to talk about on here is running and food, but today I'm switching it up and talking about some natural beauty products I'm loving.  Now that it's starting to actually feel like spring/summer and I'm feeling less like a cave creature who doesn't want to leave my warm bed, I've been focusing on trying to look less than ghostly pale and more even-toned.  

Since I have sensitive and acne-prone skin, I'm pretty cautious about what products I'm using on my face. With the huge trend of natural makeup and products, finding things that won't irritate my face has been a lot easier!

Avoiding crappy food helps my acne, but I still have a bunch of leftover dark spots and scars from years of fighting it.  This is why I was really excited to receive some samples of the new Burt's Bees Brightening Dark Spot Corrector (retails for $20.00).  It claims to visibly brighten skin, even skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles in 4 weeks.  I'm a big fan of Burt's Bees chapsticks so I was interested to try another one of their products.   

The Brightening Dark Spot Corrector is noncomedogenic and dermatologist-tested, along with using natural daisy extract which is shown to brighten skin by regulating skin's melanin production.  The whole Brightening Face Care Line also includes a Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser, Even-Tone Moisturizing Cream, Eye Treatment, and Refining Tonic.   The product line claims to brighten and even skin tone when used as part of a daily regimen over 8 weeks. 
The corrector is super thin and light!

May 12, 2014

Official Crazy Runner Lady and Birthday Recap

I had a marvelous weekend and am happy to say that for my dreaded anatomy & physiology II class I have my final today, and then I'm done! I'll have two nights of my week back and can't wait.  Here's a little birthday week and weekend photo recap! There was lots of food drinks, and smiles! Food and friends is pretty much all I need for a good birthday. 

My watch knows what day it is!

Yay for awesome balloons again

May 9, 2014

Recovery Tools: Got Chocolate Milk?

When I was offered the chance to try out chocolate milk as a recovery tool as a Women's Health Action Hero, I jumped at the chance. I'm sure you know by now that I have a huge sweet tooth so being asked to drink chocolate milk post-workout was such a treat! Personally I have switched over to almondmilk because I limit dairy due to my tummy troubles, so it had been a while since I've had some real low-fat chocolate milk. 

Some goodies and information about chocolate milk from WH 

Anyways let's be honest, after some swigs of water lately my post-race beverage of choice is a cold beer. 

After the Rock and Roll National half marathon in March I actually drank some chocolate milk I was handed right after the race  before I downed my bottle of water and was reminded how great of a recovery tool it was, before I even started this assignment! I've been having an 8 ounce glass (let's be honest, probably a little bit more!) of chocolate milk immediately after some runs and workouts. 

 I usually look for something I can quickly eat after a workout within the 20 minute recommended time-frame so I love having some chocolate milk in the refrigerator ready to go. It's also great because it's portable! Many times I don't have the tools or the time to blend up a protein shake so having a post-workout beverage handy right away that has carbs, protein, and electrolytes to start repairing my muscles immediately is great!  Since starting to use chocolate milk as a recovery beverage after my half marathon training runs, I've noticed I've been less sore and more ready to attack my next workout!

Lowfat chocolate milk is a natural source of protein, the right mix of protein and carbs, and provides fluids and electrolytes.  

May 7, 2014

Running with KIND Snacks: Fiesta 5K Recap

This past Saturday I got the opportunity to run the Fiesta 5K with a group of people for KIND Snacks, one of the race's sponsors.  One of the marketing guys for KIND approached me about running for them, and of course I couldn't turn it down, especially to run a race for such a great cause like the Packard Center for ALS research. 

Not only do I love KIND healthy snacks like their dark chocolate sea salt bars and peanut butter granola, but I've become more impressed with KIND snacks' involvement in community events around Baltimore along with nation-wide which goes along with their slogan Do the Kind Thing. They even have a campaign with NBA star Kevin Durant to reach 1 million Strong and Kind pledges to support their $1 million donation to Durant's foundation which creates specialized after-school and education programs for at-risk youth.  Join me and take the pledge here!

Before the race the weather was cloudy but warm. I actually had some blue capris that matched the KIND shirt so I was in fully matching running clothes for once! I jogged an easy mile down to the start line after having my usual pre-race breakfast of a banana and peanut butter!Our team was Joe, Theo, Holly, and me. I know Holly from group marathon training last summer so it was great to catch up!

photo of the team from Tim of KIND-thanks!

May 5, 2014

Birthday Cake and Tiny Hamsters

I had a pretty fabulous weekend with lots of delicious food and drinks (including cake and crab cakes and beer) to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. I also got in a really nice run around the harbor with the Lululemon Run Club with a bunch of November Project peoples on Friday evening.  It was a great start to a busy weekend! For Scott's birthday celebrations we had an awesome lemon cake from La Cakerie with a raspberry buttercream frosting and raspberry puree layered in the cake. Yes, it was just as delicious at it sounds!   

Cake is pretty much my favorite part of birthdays. I definitely went back for seconds plus an extra spoonful or two of icing! It was a great day, and in the honor of cake and May the 4th (be with you) here's this Disney throwback to my vacation last year. 

delicious chocolate cupcake during Star Wars weekend
 I also had a great time running the Fiesta 5K Saturday morning with KIND Snacks, but that recap will be up later this week because today is my birthday!

 I sadly have back to back exams for the one class I'm taking, after work (seriously, life?) so I'm hopefully getting in a great AM workout (it's been sooooo long) and then having a mini birthday celebration after my exams with champagne and cake. I don't feel like running a marathon tomorrow so maybe I'll just run 2.6 birthday miles instead! There will probably be some tacos involved too because it's Cinco de Mayo/Mexican Monday, and honestly they are just super easy to make! Hopefully I'll have balloons because I love them, and they help make getting older less depressing! 

amazing birthday balloons from last year
 Happy Cinco de Mayo! Get your sweat on and then enjoy some tacos or big margarita for me! 

Or you can chow down on some burritos like this little hamster in this video that makes me giggle:

If you're having your own festive dinner check out my mango salsa recipe from a while back! 

Are you having a festive dinner tomorrow? What is your favorite part of birthdays?

May 2, 2014

Five Friday Favorite Packages (Sorry We Missed You!) and Fiesta 5K

Before I get to my Five Friday Favorites packages edition I want to let you know that I'm excited to be running a 5K this Saturday with KIND Snacks who, besides making delicious bars and granola, are super involved in local communities. 'Tis the season for spring racing! The Fiesta 5K is a local race that benefits the Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, the "only international scientific operation dedicated solely to curing ALS" or Lou Gehrig's disease. 

Find out more about the Packard Center here!

I'm really excited for the chance to work with the KIND team and run a race that supports such an amazing cause! If you're around Baltimore Saturday and want to run I know they have race day registration. More information can be found here!

So I've gotten lots of packages lately so I thought I'd share my favorites! Some are from months ago, but that just means they have gotten some use! 

Five Friday Favorite Packages

1. Favorite snack package: Krave Jerky

May 1, 2014

B.A.A. 5K Race Recap and Boston Marathon Expo Fun

Well I looked up my official scores for the Nike Women's DC Half again last night and it's back to saying that I was one second slower than my PR at 1:39:50. Psssh whatever Nike-make up your mind. Close enough but supposedly not a tie anymore. Oh well! I finally unpacked the race shirt we got so here's a quick peek! I love the finisher's necklace more than last year's-I will totally be wearing it all summer!

UPDATE 5/6/2014: Nike + saying I did tie my PR again! Hurrah!
I'm still catching up on getting my feelings about Boston out here so we'll start with a race recap of the B.A.A. 5K. It's the first race of the B.A.A Distance Medley and was held on the Saturday before the marathon this year. I was in the middle of switching where my boyfriend and I were crashing so we woke up bright and early Saturday morning and drove about an hour into the city to get to a close T station which I took to the start.  I was anxious to get there on time since Scott and I got lost getting into the city but was relieved when I got to the race area. 

Luckily the weather was sunny and slightly cool. I was going to wear a short sleeve shirt but am glad I brought extra layers. There was lots of people trying to cram into the corrals(there were over 8,000 participants!) which were slightly unorganized. I just managed to squeeze my way in not too far back! 

at the start
I had no expectations going into the 5K and was running it just for fun! I had heard it was a great race and very popular. Apparently this year they had changed the course to start and finish at Boston Common instead of Copley Square Park to accommodate more runners. Many marathoners use this as their shakeout run before Marathon Monday so there was a really nice vibe amongst the crowd.