March 31, 2014

MIMM- Electric Rides and Rainy Runs (Love Run Philly Recap)

Ugh. I have so much I've wanted to blog about and so little time. Hopefully this week I can get back on track. I swear I'll update about my races two weeks ago and other random running things! Things have been stressful, packed, and less than marvelous lately, but hopefully that will turn around this week.  
MiMM

Friday I went to Rev Cycle Studio for an Electric Ride spin event with some friends. It was a 60 minute class with a DJ, blacklights, and glowstick gear.  The class was hard, sweaty, but fun. You bet I kept my glowstick tiara on the whole ride! 


RevCycle_ElectricSpin

Saturday morning my boyfriend and I trekked up to Philly in the pouring rain to pickup my race things at the Love Run Philly Half Marathon Expo. It's the inaugural year for the half marathon, also known as the race that loves you back (cute!), but still had around 10,000 runners.  The expo was in the Philadelphia Convention Center and was pretty well-organized.  I picked up my Love Run mug, shirt, and bib and pretty much got out of there. I loved the ideas of getting a mug and having a vanity bib where you got to choose what you wanted your race bib to say!


March 25, 2014

I'm Fit Possible Blog Swap featuring Jess and The Power of Music

I have a special blog post for you today-it's an I'm Fit Possible community blog swap! I'm Fit Possible is an amazing community of down-to-earth,sassy, creative, and fun fitness and wellness enthusiasts who are also pretty much rock stars. We are also social media superstars and thought a great way to connect our ambassadors and community with others would be a blog swap. I hope you enjoy today's guest post and check out my post for Jess about first time half marathoner race tips here

Hi everyone! I'm Jess  and I blog over at JustCall Me Janks. I'm a wife, puppy mom, wine lover, barre enthusiast and (fairly new) runner. My blog chronicles my life - from fitness and finances to relationships and recipes. It's a pleasure to meet you!

JustCallMeJanks


Lauren and I got to know each other last summer at a Baltimore blogger meet up and I'm happy to have been paired with her for today's I'm Fit Possible blog swap. She and I have bonded over our love of running, good food, and Old Bay. I've enjoyed following her adventures and appreciate her advice when it comes to the sport of running.

March 24, 2014

Monday Motivation-Be Nice to Yourself

In the healthy living and fitness communities you are always hearing the messages: make no excuses, get your workout done no matter what, and keep pushing yourself. I even come across these mantras on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest:  

BeStrongerThanYourExcuses   

Don't get me wrong, I love some tough love, and sometimes that motivation style is necessary to get you pumped up to get your workout in.  Sometimes though, you don't need to push yourself but rather need to take a step back and breathe.  

This week especially has been crazy busy with an anniversary dinner, midterms for my class, an impromptu concert on Friday, and a growing to-do list. Oh yeah, and I'm running another half marathon this weekend and another at the end of April so I should probably be running more. Whoops. 

 I think I got in three solid workouts last week. Instead of letting that stress me out, I went with it and felt at ease. My eating wasn't exactly on point with my big anniversary dinner, french fries & beer, oh and those braised short ribs I whipped up in the crockpot last night (amazing, I might add).  So what, that's what enjoying life is about for me. This week, I've got a fridge full of healthy snacks and lunches prepped.

March 21, 2014

Shoofly Diner Baltimore and a Weekend of REV Cycle Studio Events

Thanks for all the love on my blog news! Also thanks for entering my LesserEvil giveaway, the winner was Danielle B.! 
 Life is crazy busy with a bunch of missed workouts this week, but it isn't the end of the world.

Last night was my boyfriend and I's four year anniversary so we went out to dinner at Shoofly Diner in Baltimore, owned by the infamous Chef Spike Gjerde  of  Woodberry Kitchen and Artifact Coffee.  We'd eaten here when it first opened, and I thought a less stuffy and expensive dinner would be perfect for our date night. I adore the rustic yet chic diner decor of the restaurant along with it's delicious cocktails and food.   My boyfriend and I had eyes bigger than our stomachs and ended up boxing some of the food up/left stuffed.  Here's a little photo recap of our awesome meal!


ShooflyDiner_poutine
My boyfriend and I polished off this bowl of disco fries topped with a dippy egg (my favorite!). By the way, my boyfriend randomly found a little pebble in our fries, and everyone at Shoofly was super apologetic and more than made up for it! 

March 19, 2014

Two Big Blog Announcements-WH Action Hero 2014 and HTC

Well I still feel exhausted from this long weekend (thanks snow day for giving me extra time to study for my A&P lab practical!).  I was lucky enough to takeover the I'm Fit Possible community Instagram on Saturday so you might have been following along with my half marathon adventures in DC.  I'll have a big weekend race(s) recap later this week or so once I get down to writing it. Here's a spoiler alert: it went well and beer was had :)

rock-n-roll-dc-half-marathon-2014

Well 2014 is turning out to be not too shabby, despite some recent crappy news and this never ending winter we are living in.  I've got not one, but TWO big blog news tidbits to share today. Drum roll please!

FIRST

I've been keeping this a little bit under the radar, but I was chosen as a 2014 Women's Health Action Hero!

March 14, 2014

Quick Five Friday 3/14/2014

Not Five Friday Favorites but just five random Friday things for you today. Mostly food-related, which isn't surprising. I have a busy, busy, busy weekend. A race expo after work, half marathon, going away party, Shamrock 5K, and travelling all in between. Yikes. I received some disappointing news yesterday so it was a big pity party for me all evening. Trying to stay in the mindset that "everything happens for a reason". A for effort on positivity, right? 

Five Friday Things
1. What you buy when you are sad and at the grocery store: 
TalentiGelatoPop_SeaSaltCaramel
It was amazing, and I would've eaten a bar of just the dark chocolate coating! Worth it. 

March 13, 2014

LesserEvil but Yummier than Most! [Review + Giveaway]

Disclosure: This post is a review for LesserEvil Snacks. I was sent 6 bags of snacks as part of the review but received no other compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 


A couple weeks ago I was sent a BIG box of snacks from the LesserEvil company. I  connected with them after picking up a bag of their Classic Theatre Chia Pop at Whole Foods and wanting to try more!  I seriously went through that bag in like two days. Oops. 

While I'm always talking about snacks and treats that satisfy my sweet tooth, I also love salty snacks like popcorn and chips. I don't discriminate against snacks :)  I've been packing more snacks I can munch on lately since I'm on the go with school and work but have been getting bored of baby carrots! LesserEvil snack products are GMO-free, USDA organic, gluten-free, and include wholesome ingredients  including chia seeds. 

LesserEvil-\snacks
Look at the all these snacks!
 Along with the the Classic Theatre Style Chia Pop I had previously tried, I was also sent the other two Chia Pop flavors- Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper & Aged White Cheddar.  

March 10, 2014

MIMM-Going into a Race Unprepared

I'm linking up with Marvelous in my Monday today even though my weekend was less than marvelous. 

I had a fabulous Thursday night out at Baltimore's Cosmic Cocktail party and had various libations and bites to eat from local restaurants.It was nice to get dressed up and have a great night out in the city!  
cocktailparty1

Friday night after getting back from Crossfit, I started to feel really tired and awful so I called it an early night.

Saturday the weather was BEAUTIFUL with temperatures near 60 degrees and the sun shining. I tried to go on my longer run alone in the afternoon to enjoy the weather after loading up on some medicine. I scaled back and wanted to try to do 8 slow miles instead of the 10-11 I should have been running. Unfortunately I only made it 6.5 miles before I felt like complete crap and got home. After a long hot shower and some time with the couch and Netflix, I took my temperature, and it turns out I had a low grade fever. No bueno. So needless to say, the rest of the weekend I took it really easy and drank lots of fluids a.k.a lots of tea and lemonade flavored Mio in my water.  The boyfriend also brought me home a chocolate bacon doughnut which made me feel a little better :)
Maple-Bacon-Donut
Bacon is good on everything. 
Sunday night I did have some yummy pizza that was loaded with veggies. Seriously this is just a pile of delicious roasted vegetables pretending to be pizza, and I don't mind. 
Veggie-Pizza

So I'm feeling pretty discouraged that I could not get a last good long run in since I'm feeling not so good about the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Saturday. I'm just glad that what I have is probably just a cold or virus and not the flu, and that I have a week to feel better. 

So here's what to do when you're unprepared for a race, which is not recommended, but may happen. (Note: I am not a personal trainer or certified in any way, these tips are all from personal experience. Please discuss plans with a health professional before running a race you may not be prepared for!)

Tips-For-being-Unprepared-for-a-race

1. Make your race goals realistic.
This isn't my spring half marathon to PR so already expectations were lower, which is good. At this point, I'm trying to make it better than my "worst" half marathon, which sadly for me, was sub-2 hour and not bad at all (and my first half marathon).  If you are under-prepared for a race, accept that you probably won't set a new personal record , and it might hurt a little. Set realistic goals based on the training you have done and the shape you are in. You don't want to get in the middle of the race and get burned out or injured.  As always, start the race out slow!

girls-running-hate
Change race goals so you don't feel like this a 1/3 of the way through. (gif from here
2. Hydrate and roll out.
Foam roll out that is. I plan on stretching, foam rolling and making sure my legs are feeling good for race day. Also I ALWAYS notice how crappy I feel for any run or workout when I'm dehydrated, so drinking extra water is just good advice for fitness in general and especially before races.  I'll be trying to drink my All Day Nuun in the mornings before my coffee/tea and be mindful to drink more water throughout the week. This is extra important since I'm still feeling under the weather too!
Nuun1
Disclaimer: I'm a Nuun ambassador and receive a discount on Nuun products, but have been a huge fan WAY before that. I really freaking love and use their products!


3. Get a couple more good runs in. 
I wasn't planning on really tapering much for this run since I haven't been running a ton. Hopefully when I'm feeling 100% better I'll get a solid 6 mile run in (approximately half the distance of my race distance) during the middle of the week to see how my body and pace is feeling.  If I feel good, it'll be a nice confidence booster and will help me figure out how I should be pacing myself. Obviously if I felt I was completely out of shape or could get injured, I would NOT still be running it. 
You've got this!
liz-lemon-high-five
4. Be prepared for race day.
I'm a super organized person and while I can go with the flow, being late and chaotic makes me really stressed out.  If I can have all my travel plans ready and race gear picked out and packed,I'll feel much better. Stress only makes everything worse.
baltimore-marathon-2013-gear
All my gear laid out pre-Baltimore Marathon 2013

4. Run happy. 
I freaking love this motto (which also happens to be the Brooks Running tagline).  Hopefully by race day I'm feeling better and will be able to line up at the start line feeling relaxed and ready to have an enjoyable run. I want to enjoy the course, be smiling, and just run. There really isn't much more I can do right now to get ready for the race-pushing yourself the week before will only hurt you more! And hey, you never know what can happen in a race! 

run-happy-selfie
I hope to be feeling like this on race day!

Also go check out this awesome coffee talk post with the I'm Fit Possible community today!

Have you ever felt really unprepared for a race? How was your weekend?

March 6, 2014

My Very Own Coffee Review

Disclosure: This post is a review for My Very Own Coffee received through my I'm Fit Possible community ambassadorship. I was provided with 1 bag of coffee free of charge, as part of the review but received no other compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Lately I have been drinking tea in the morning, because I sometimes back off of drinking lots of coffee due to it's effect on my digestive system (you runners know what I'm talking about!). However yesterday I had a hot mug of coffee in the morning for the first time this week, and it was perfect.  I brewed the coffee in my french press and topped it with some frothed almond milk. It hit the spot. 

This post got lost in the shuffle of the holidays so I'm just posting now about how the I'm Fit Possible community along with My Very Own Coffee hooked me up with a bag of freshly roasted whole coffee beans a few months ago and let me tell you, freshly roasted whole beans makes all the difference. 

myveryowncoffee.com is an awesome site that let's you customize the design of your bag of coffee for monthly delivery. They also own We CARE! Coffee Company which is the same custom coffee concept but helps raise funds for schools, sports teams, and nonprofits. With We CARE! Coffee Company you can order bags with your group's logo to sell yourself or hold a fundraiser via online sales with profits going to your group. You can customize the coffee bag with a photo, title, and text. The layout of the label on the bag is fixed so the design wasn't too flexible for customization, but I did love the idea of being able to upload your own photo! This makes a perfect gift that keeps on giving for the coffee-lover in your life. However I chose to design a bag for myself so I decided to put a little morning motivation on my coffee bag.

What's more inspiring then seeing a photo of you after your first marathon with your breakfast in the morning? 

My-Very-Own-Coffee-Review

My coffee order came quickly and was packaged just the way I designed it. I titled my coffee "Runners' Fuel: The drink of choice for marathoners who run while others sleep!" 

Very inspiring, right?

Besides, the custom bag, you have some choices regarding your coffee such as ground or whole beans and medium roast or french roast.  The company works with coffee importers in the San Francisco Bay Area and sources two types of organic coffee beans (1 caffeinated, 1 decaf) at a time, based on access and availability to the company.  

coffeebeans1

Usually if I buy whole coffee beans I grind them at a local supermarket, but my boyfriend insisted on helping me out with this antique hand-crank coffee grinder that hangs in our kitchen. He is quite the coffee connoisseur and wanted to taste test the coffee too!  It is decorative yet functional! However I would not recommend hand-cranking to grind more than a couple cups of coffee (unless you have a lot of time on your hands!). 
coffeegrinder

The verdict, I loved the flavor of the beans and will definitely keep My Very Own Coffee and We CARE! Coffee  in mind for a unique gift or fundraising option.  It's also your lucky day because My Very Own Coffee has offered my readers a 25% discount good for the monthly coffee club (which includes free shipping!) with the code: breathedeeply25.

Check out both companies' websites
http://myveryowncoffee.com/ AND http://www.wecarecoffee.com/

Facebook pages: 
https://www.facebook.com/myveryowncoffee AND https://www.facebook.com/wecarecoffee.fundraising

Disclosure: This post is a review for My Very Own Coffee received through my I'm Fit Possible community ambassadorship. I was provided with 1 bag of coffee free of charge, as part of the review but received no other compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

March 4, 2014

I'm Even Eating the Whole Bun

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler or "Let the Good Times Roll", is a little French saying associated with  Mardi Gras, which is today. This is going to be my theme for March because I have so many good things coming along in the next few months. Even a little snow and wintry weather won't get in my way. 
Funny Seasonal Ecard: I hope the snowstorm doesn't impact my schedule of aimlessly wasting my day online.
Although I don't mind snow days
Yes, there was another snow storm yesterday that resulted in a snow day for work AND school. This means staying in my pajamas all day, catching up on TV I missed during the Oscars Sunday night, and ending the day with a burger and a beer with my boyfriend. The burger was amazing and came topped with goat cheese and sauteed onions on a pretzel bun. I usually feel like burger buns are too much bread and end up only eating half the bun or picking the edges off so only about half is left (yes, I'm a super classy-looking eater). Last night, I was so excited for the delicious burger surrounded by the pretzel bun I told my boyfriend "This looks awesome. I'm even eating the whole bun" so he laughed and said that should be my blog post title. Voila. No photo because I pretty much devoured it before I even thought about taking a photo (bad blogger, I know).  Life's too short not to enjoy a good burger every once in a while. 

On Sunday I had a fabulous little Oscars party with a nice little spread of appetizers and drinks. 
OscarsParty_food1

I made these yummy little Healthy Chicken Enchilada Bites from Mackenzie's Clean Eats but used lean ground beef instead of ground chicken. There were no leftovers so I'd call them a hit! 
healthy-chicken-enchilada-bites

I also finally made these Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies from Ambitious Kitchen which were amazing.
flourlesschocolatechipchickpeabrownies
 I used peanut butter along with mini chocolate chips, and they tasted way more sinful than they actually are. My boyfriend and I ended up finishing up the leftovers for breakfast the next day. He said they were one of the best "healthy" desserts I've ever made!

If you missed it here are some of my favorite Oscars highlights. Leo lost (boo), but Cate Blanchett won (yay). Jared Leto won for Best Supporting Actor and is as sexy as he was in his Jordan Catalano days,  although he needs the ends of his hair trimmed. 
jaredleto_oscars
Ellen posted a star-studded selfie that became the most retweeted tweet ever. She also had a guy deliver pizza to pass out to the crowd. Brad Pitt even looks good chowing down on some pizza. 
BradPitt_oscars

John Travolta royally butchered pronouncing Idina Menzel's name which was hilarious. Oh and this happened at the end of Matthew McConaughey's awesome Best Actor Award speech. The only thing that would have made his speech better was if he performed his tribal, chest-bumping song from The Wolf of Wall Street
McConaughey_Oscars

On Saturday, before all of the Oscars fun, I had a nice 10 mile run with some friends and am feeling VERY unprepared for my first race of the spring-the Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon. It's a little less than two weeks away, and I just haven't been running as much. I can blame it on the cold, wintry weather, but at this point there isn't much I can do. 
NewGirl_boohoo_gif

I'll try to just take it easy and have fun and hopefully not run my slowest half marathon ever. I looked at the course map. and it seems there is only some big hills around miles 6-7 so hopefully the race will be manageable. Right now I'm focusing on getting a few more runs in, stretching, and making sure I'm hydrated. 

This week I'm hoping to get back on track with healthy eating, workouts, and looking my best for when it finally gets warmer outside. I'm not greedy, I'm just asking for a little springtime weather!

What was your favorite Oscars highlight if you watched them? What are your tips when feeling under-prepared for a race?

 
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