Thursday, October 30, 2014

Defeating the grocery store!

Almost every day before work I do indulge in a coffee from Starbucks. Which is a really bad habit, I will admit to that. However, every day to get to my Starbucks I have to walk to gauntlet of delicious treats at the grocery store. Today I decided to show you what I have to walk through! 
 This is the "baked goods" section, cookies, muffins, pies, cakes, cupcakes, strudels, scones, you name it it is in this section. The picture is missing a few different stands too!
We all know what these cases are, cakes cakes cakes, chocolates, cupcakes, and donuts at the end... dooonuts... 
So in order to get my non fat latte I have to walk through this flood of temptation! But you know what? I do it, I have only bought cupcakes once, for work, and I didn't have any! 
Something very exciting came in the mail today. My first Half Fanatics shirt! Special edition Seahawks Half Fanatics shirt! I am so excited for this! 
It seems like I have waited years for this shirt and it is finally here! My next half if the Seattle Half Marathon Nov. 30th, I will be wearing it! 
In my search to find things that I truly love and want to be a part of in the health and fitness world I have started volunteering to help with races and also volunteering to be Ambassadors for races as well. There is also a new company expanding to Seattle called ClassPass which I am hoping to be a big part of eventually. 
"ClassPass is an alternative to a gym membership. With ClassPass, you get access to the best boutique fitness classes in your city. There are over 1,000 classes available to ClassPass members, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts, and more.
For $99 a month, ClassPass members get unlimited classes to use at studios in the ClassPass network. While a member can take as many classes per month as they’d like, they can only visit the same studio 3 times per month." -Source Here
Through these volunteering opportunities I hope that I can find something that I can grow and be a major part of. Who knows? Anything can happen, right? 

3 x 30 day workout #2!

So today because I couldn't find another weight program online by Jillian Michaels I used a DVD program that I already had by Bob Harper, Inside Out Method, Body Rev Cardio Conditioning workout 2. It worked on balance, upper body and lower body strengthening. It is quite a workout for 30 minutes! I am definitely going to be sore tomorrow!
The main reason why this 3 x 30 challenge is such a challenge is because of time management! With only about 2 hours of "free" time from waking up to getting ready to leave for work, there isn't a whole lot of workout time allowed. This challenge also is wonderful because of the next couple of week I will be doing about 40 hours extra overtime at work to help out but not only that, it's overtime on day shift! So I will have to flip flop my schedule like crazy. Wonderful because it'll help me stay in workout mode through this craziness at work. Keep me going and not just stop because of a weird schedule. Speaking of work, I'm about to be late! 

Keep on Running! 

All About That Bass vs. Shake It Off!

So this year there have been two pretty big songs that both Tricia and I love! Tricia's is Shake it Off by Taylor Swift and mine is All About The Bass by Meghan Trainor.
These songs are so much fun, how could you make them even more awesome? Meghan Trainor doing a Shake It Off cover! 
And even better! A mini clip of Meghan Trainor singing All About That Bass to the Shake It Off beat! 
Unfortunately I have been unsuccessful at finding anything by Taylor Swift covering Meghan Trainor songs. I will however keep my hopes up! Anything could happen!
Both of these songs make me just want to dance! They are both so happy and encouraging! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bloglovin'

I have officially joined Bloglovin' a much easier way to follow all of the blogs that you love! There is even an app! So you can read your blogs on the go. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin 

I am very excited to finally be moving up in the blog world! 

Getting back out there

My friend Tricia and I have been talking about ways to motivate our workouts. And we decided to come up with a workout challenge to keep us out there. After much discussion we decided on this:
3x strength training sessions of at least 30 minutes each week, in addition to our normal cardio workout routine.
For me this comes at the perfect time because 1) I always put a strength training 2) I just completed a half marathon and I don't have another one for a few weeks 3) I have already decided that my next half marathon, which is the Amica Seattle half marathon, I want to give it my absolute all in order to do that I cannot just rely on just cardio and I need to add a lot of strength training sessions. 
So in this challenge I can run as much as I want as long as I get at least 30 minutes three times a week of strength training in. Which doesn't sound like a lot but it's way way more than I have been doing. I average usually one strength training workout every two weeks and then I don't want to do it again because I'm so sore I can hardly move the next day. Which won't happen if I do it regularly several times a week yesterday crazy sore at first but then I'll just be a tiny bit sore after a while.
She kind of excited to see what progress I can make before November 30. There are some strength training exercises I've been wanting to try it now is the perfect opportunity! 
I follow #squatadvice on Instagram and they post a lot of really awesome leg workouts. This is the link to their Instagram feed.
Gym_videos, also on Instagram, is another workout advice stream that I enjoy. http://instagram.com/gym_videos
Time to get stronger!
On a very handy note, I just found this new piece of workout equipment that all of us outdoors workout people would love to have. It's called the Undress. But the undressed does is it allows you to change your clothes in public without ever being naked. It allows full modesty and ease of movement. 
This is definitely on my Christmas wish list! This be so handy after my races! And I know I'm not alone.
Today I decided to do a test of before Sunday's Get Your Rear in Gear 5k. I can't remember the last time I did a timed 5k, so I thought I would try it out and see where I stood, so that I am not completely shocked on Sunday! 

I did alright! I clocked in at 29:02, which is about 45 seconds faster than any previously timed 5k! So I am now looking forward to Sunday to see if I can beat that time!
I am starting today with the Strength Training challenge that Tricia and I have set up. I will be doing Jillian Michaels Shred it with Weights 30 minute workout. 
(Update: Just did this workout, great workout but on the first try, after a 5k run, I was able to do the advanced moves. Will be trying a harder workout for my next 3 x 30 challenge workout!)
I will also be trying out my new Brooks Ravenna shoes workout shoes for the strength training! Which I am pretty excited about!
Well I better get to it! 

Keep on Running!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What a day! Onions and Pumpkins!

What a day! It started off by me going to the store to to pick up the ingredients for French onion soup, which I have never made before so this was a whole new experience for me! Including a new ingredient that I've never used before either, rainbow chard. The recipe itself is pretty easy to make but it takes quite a while to make, it says on the recipe it takes two hours, it took me about 2 1/2 hours. 
The first step is to get eight onions, then peel and slice them up.  (After making this recipe, I'd first recommend wearing swim goggles, sounds silly but it'll save your eyes! And then when slicing the onion use a thin slice, nothing wider than half an inch, and break them all apart Before putting them in the frying pan, it'll help the caramelizing process.)
Then put them in frying pan and caramelize them. 
Once that is done you simply add The roughly chopped chard and ssome spices, let sit for a few more minutes. 
Then in a huge pot add all of the onions chard vegetable broth wine and let simmer for 20 minutes. 
And when it is simmering simply grade up your cheese and sliced up and toast the baguette. 
Once the soup is done simmering ladle it into your oven safe cups, add the baguette slices and cheese. 
Then put it in the oven on broil for two minutes or just long enough for the meat cheese to melt. 
Take it out and voilà! you have French onion soup!
I will have to say this is the first time I've tried something new that I absolutely loved! The soup turned out amazing! However, it is a lot of onion so if you're not an onion crazy person then this is not the recipe for you. Even though it sweetens up quite a bit when you caramelize the onions. But if you do you like onions I highly recommend this recipe!
 
After dinner Anyhony and I relaxed for a little while and then decided to carve some pumpkins! It is Halloween week after all. This is the first time I have carve pumpkins since I was in high school art club. So it has been probably 10 years since I have carved a pumpkin. Anthony went very traditional with his pumpkin and I decided to do one of my favorite little creatures, an owl! 

Anthony, poised and ready to carve!

My finished project!
Unfortunately, I am by no means artistic and had to freestyle the owl on a pumpkin! I couldn't do this on paper if I tried! But I winged it anyway, I think it turned out alright what do you think?
Place on the front step, ready to go!
 

My little owl!


Anthony's traditional jack-o-lantern!

My day started off pooey with not being able to sleep because my back hurt but turned into a great day of new adventures and a lot of fun! I am so glad that I decided to try a new recipe and that I decided randomly to carve pumpkins this year.
I never really carved pumpkins growing up. I remember painting them one year but that's it other than the one year I carved pumpkins with my art club. So this was something a little different for me. I really enjoyed it! Made me miss my little sister though! I know she would have loved carving pumpkins and trying a new yummy recipe.
Did you carve pumpkins this year? Have you cooked something new recently? I'd love to hear about it!
 
 
 
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

New running shoes!

Today I finally got the new running shoes that I ordered three weeks ago! Sketchers GoMeb Mstrike, size 8.5z. I have used Sketchers GoRun Bionic for two years now but they are too loose in the front part of my foot now that I've lost 25lbs. (YaY me!) so I chose to change things up with a much more narrow shoe. 
I tested them out tonight, I did about three miles in them. I was able to tell that the mid foot was a little bit tight and my abkles were slipping a bit. So I simply looked up ways to tie my shoes that would solve these tiny problems. The blog Katierunsthis (http://katierunsthis.com/2011/10/04/running-shoe-lacing-techniques/) was my solution! 
I put together a lace combo that will hopefully work out, I used the loose heel and wide foot lace up ideas. 
I will be testing these out in the morning! 
For a runner, new running shoes are better than diamonds! So important and love able! 
Keep on Running!

Snohomish River Run Recap

Yesterday I ran the Snohomish River Run half marathon and I earned a PR! 2:18:26, took 3 minutes off of my fastest time!
As I predicted this year's race was much better organized than it was in the 2012 race. There was plenty of parking close to the race start and the day of packet pick up seem to go very smooth. I was even able to go back to my car to stay warm and get ready for the race after picking up my packet. 
All lined up and ready for the race to start!
The prerace introduction seemed like it was fun but I was maybe 50 feet away and couldn't hear the speakers so that is something that could have been a little bit different. They went over the racecourse and I couldn't hear them which was sad. 
Waiting for the pre race announcements.
Race lineup!
The race start was a bit confusing I'm just glad that I was towards the back otherwise I think I would've gotten lost! We had a flip our start location from where we were standing for the race introduction to get in front of the race start, then headed up about a quarter of a mile in the direction that we were just standing, we then had a switchback and headed back towards the start, then we were on our way. But I kind of liked it because it made the 1st mile go by so fast! 
Can't really see it but hopefully this clarifies the start.
The Lowell Snohomish River Road is a very flat smooth road and is perfect for a half marathon, at the turnaround point at Rotary Park we ran through a gravel parking lot and then on a trail, the trail was kind of hard to run on because there were so many tree roots pushing up the blacktop. It was like Russian roulette for your ankles because the tree leaves were covering the trail so it's very hard to see the spots where the tree roots had pushed up the blacktop. So I had to slow down quite a bit in the section just to save my ankles.
 On the way back the race was still going well but then I ran into some terrible wind and that slowed me down quite a bit too because I was running directly into it, along with all the other runners of course. But thankfully the weather held and there was no rain! I'm not sure how that happened but there are definitely no complaints and I'm very glad it didn't rain!
When running into the finish it was very very crowded and there were even people walking in the race course that I had to avoid. This part made me kind of upset because I felt like it was very rude that they were walking in the race course when they're still runners coming in. The reason why it was so crowded it was because the start and finish we're in the same spot as the award ceremony and there wasn't any room for people to stand and wait for the ward ceremony to start and not be in the way of the race course finishers. It was so crowded in fact I didn't even stay after the race I left right away. I didn't like leaving early but I didn't feel like fighting the crowds. 
My legs were pretty tense and I was freezing! Yay Space Blanket!
Over all the race was phenomenal this year. The aid stations were fantastic and evenly spaced out, they offered water, a sports drink and gel packs. Which I thought was really nice. I would definitely recommend this race to anyone who is a beginning marathoner or someone who is looking to PR.

After the race Anthony and I went to Maltby Cafe, our favorite breakfast spot, for some delicious food! 
My Oktoberfest yumminess! 
Anthony's California Scramble, so good!
I really just wanted that cake! But managed to say no, somehow! 

We weren't the only racers there either! I saw at least a dozen Snohomish River runners there! I guess it is definitely the go-to spot for refueling after a long run!

Last but not least! I am officially a Half Fanatic! I am so excited about this! It has taken me a couple of tries but as of yesterday I have finally done it! My Fanatic InSane Asylum #9279! Look me up! 
My Profile Link!
Thank you so much for reading! 

Keep on Running!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Snohomish River Run pre-race low down and Half Fanatics tell all

Tomorrow morning I will be departing work and headed straight up to Snohomish to run in the the Snohomish River Run half marathon. I have run this race before back in 2012, their first year. Because it was their first year there were many ... difficulties. For instance the shuttles was so late that my sister and I had to walk down to the start. Which added almost another mile onto the distance for that day and then the course ending up being rather difficult at one point at the "turn around" you repeated the same spot several times and mentally it was just really hard. But I have high hopes for the race this year.There is a new "route" it's almost backward from the original and there is plenty of parking close to the start, only a couple of blocks away. I also feel that they have a better understanding for the requirements of their aid stations, they added a couple more, even more porta potties! 
I just know that this year the race will be an amazing event compared to my first experience. The weather still looks terrible, 50% chance of rain during the whole race, which means 100% of the time it will be raining and in the 40s. But that's ok, I'd rather it be a little cool than too warm any day. Plus they promise hot soup at the finish line!

I will confess that the main reason I signed up for this particular race again was to be able to submit my race results to the Half Fanatics. I am really excited about this. IT is a half marathon club that has many benefits of being a part of, from race discounts to group support. I have been wanting to be apart of HF for quite a while now but the requirements are... intense to just get in! Then there are many different levels that you can achieve once you have gained entry into the club.  

This is a list of the levels that you can achieve once you achieve entry into HF.

NEPTUNE
2 Half Marathons within a 16 day time frame.
3 Half Marathons within a 90 day time frame.

URANUS
3 Half Marathons within a 16 day time frame.
6 Half Marathons in 6 consecutive calendar months.
8 - 11 Half Marathons within 365 days.

SATURN
4 Half Marathons within 37 days.
12 - 18 Half Marathons within 365 days.
4 Half Marathons in 4 different US states, Countries or Canadian Provinces (any combination) 51 days.

JUPITER
4 Half Marathons in 23 days.
19 - 25 Half Marathons within 365 days.
2 Half Marathons in 2 days (or 48 hours) must finish both races!
9 Half Marathons in 9 different US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days.

VENUS
38 - 44 Half Marathons within 365 days.
20 Half Marathons in 20 US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days
13 Half Marathons within 79 days.

MARS
3 Marathons within 3 days.
26 - 30 Half Marathons within 365 days.
4 Half Marathons within a 9 day window.
3 Half Marathons in 3 separate US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within a 10-day time span.
13 Half Marathons in 13 different US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days.

MERCURY
45 - 51 Half Marathons within 365 days.
23 Half Marathons in 23 US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days.
28 Half Marathons within 183 days.

EARTH
31 - 37 Half Marathons within 365 days.
16 Half Marathon in 16 different US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days.
6 Half Marathons within 16 days. With proper planning and rest this can be done!

THE SUN
52 Half Marathons or more within 365 days.
30 Half Marathons in 30 US states, Countries, or Canadian Provinces (any combination) within 365 days.
20 Countries within 365 days.

Here are the advertised benefits of being a HF member: 
Online database to record and track your races and moon count
Add and track your upcoming races to your personal profile
Members only Bulletin Board
Race Discounts
Monthly Newsletter
Monthly Eflash
Member socials at half marathons everywhere
Instant friends at the races

They do sound pretty awesome if I say so myself! Not to mention all of the really fun outfits that you can wear! 
My wardrobe my take an unnecessary increase... 

My friend Lori back in Missouri is a part of HF and she is always posting photos of here fun events and outings. May be a little jealous of all of the fun! Well that is a little bit about the Half Fanatics that I keep talking about and saying that I want to be a part of. 

Keep on Running!


Friday, October 24, 2014

The Baker in me is freaking out!

I am so Excited that I can't even wait to tell you about this! I just saw a commercial for 

Nestlé Toll House DelightFulls Filled Morsels! I cannot wait to try these, unfortunately I am a little worried that I will eat it all! 

I have been looking for a new way to spice up my holiday baking and I may have found my answer! I'm so glad that I can just take all of my baking to work and give it away!
I am sure once I can find these in the store there will be many more unhealthy posts to follow, I will however stick to my Log Everything challenge and my No Holiday Treats except on the holidays challenge as well. But that doesn't mean I can't share the treats! Nestle even has a website full of suggested recipes
What holiday treats do you imagine that I can make with these?? 

World of virtual racing!

So for a couple years I have slowly watched the world of virtual racing grow and grow. If you don't know what a virtual race is, it's simple. The race host puts up a website that you go to and sign up, you pay a nominal fee, then run said distance you signed up for, record your time, post you time on the website and see your standings. These races can range from getting a free printable bib to the much more eccentric races, like the ones I am about to tell you about.

So despite my doubts and wonder of how this could be enjoyable, so I decided to give it a try anyway!

I am signed up for two virtual races! Don't ask me how that happened because I am not exactly sure... So I started looking into a virtual race company that one of my mega marathoner friends posts about every once in a while on Facebook. I thought "If he likes this stuff and he travels the world to run, then maybe I will!" So I looked into it and signed up for the US Road Running's Halloween Half Marathon. Because this was my first virtual race sign up I decided to go for the whole kit and caboodle. At the cost of $24.99 you'll receive a 3.5 inch medal, bib and US Road Running Tech Shirt, I figured it couldn't hurt. After taxes it was $27 and by far the cheapest half marathon I have ever signed up for!

I had to take an up close photo of the medal because it is HUGE! And a very nice one too. I am pleasantly surprised by this. I didn't realize that the shirt would be a general US Road Running shirt, but that's ok. That's why they offer two entry levels, one with the shirt and one without. So if I decide to do this again I'll just be able to do the cheap entry of $16.99 and get a bib and medal.
The second virtual race that I am signed up for is through a local race series and they are doing their virtual race a little differently, I like it a little better actually. It's through the Mud & Chocolate trail races. You sign up, run, post your time and THEN they send you your race goodies. I signed up for this race because I wanted to do the actual race but it was sold out. Which is a bummer, however, this year they are offering a virtual race, this is the first year they are trying this out and it seems like they have a good idea! 
Ok, you may have figured it out... There is a lot of chocolate involved! Who doesn't like that! This race however, was not $27 it was $40. But their website and offerings are much greater. The Mud & Chocolate run it's also suggested that you run the 13.1 miles throughout the week. So you don't have to do it all at once, which is really neat. 
Now that I have introduced you to virtual racing, will you try it? Join me for some delicious chocolate in the Mud & Chocolate virtual race? Sounds like a yummy plan to me!
On a side note, I am trying to get into the Half Fanatics (half marathon running club) and virtual races do not count. I am ok with that and I get it. But bummer! Hopefully Sunday's run goes well and I get a happy finish! Then I will be able to submit my Biggest Loser Half and the Snohomish River Run results for entry!  

Keep on Running!