Friday, June 29, 2012

Fitness Friday: Home Runs

I've been spending the week in Cincinnati visiting with my family and friends. Tomorrow I will be running the Hyde Park Blast for the second time.

"The Hyde Park Blast was co-founded by Cheryl Koopman and Chad Sims, both Hyde Park residents, as a way for the community to have fun, be active and raise money for a good cause – the fight against cancer.
Since 2001, more than $260,000 has been donated to CancerFree Kids, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Cancer Support Community, The Cure Starts Now and Shemenski Foundation in addition to Give Back Cincinnati by the Blast."

This event lives up to its mission. 
It starts at 8AM with the 4-mile run/walk.


Then throughout the day there are kids races, ice cream and footlong eating contests, 
as well as all kinds of FREE exercise demos and classes 
from race sponsors including Lululemon.


The evening events include cycling races and the elite 5K run.


The block party kicks off at 6PM with Cincinnati cover band The Gamut 
followed by national act Cowboy Mouth.


The course has changed since I last ran this race, so I am hoping for a better time.
(they eliminated a nasty hill) 
No matter what, I'm sure I will be having a blast!

2007 - taken by my dad

Do you run races when you travel?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts & Skyline Chili Spaghetti

As you are reading today's post, I am hanging out in Cincinnati for the week with my family and friends. I haven't been home since Thanksgiving (when I ran this race) and I've missed everyone and everything. Today I'm going to a Reds game and then lots of running around.

Last week was the start of summer vacation in the middle of a heat wave and in addition to the PT sessions of ART and Graston, my training schedule has been a little all over the place. I ran four times for a weekly mileage total of 14 (it was supposed to be 17).


#TrainingTruth: I liked running on my lunch break.

I've been reading about people who work out on their lunch breaks for years. Being a teacher, I have approximately 30 minutes to inhale eat my lunch. No time for anything else and barely enough time to use the rest room. Our last day of school exam schedule gave us an hour long lunch, so BRF and I headed out for a 4 mile run. We were trying to beat the heat that was descending on New Hampshire. I now understand why so many people opt to do their workouts at lunch rather than wait until the end of the day. I couldn't do this during the school year because there isn't enough time and I'd be pretty stinky if I had a class after lunch.

#TrainingTruth: I don't follow doctors orders very well.

For the past few weeks I've been attending PT to address the knots in my calf. My PT did not ask me to stop running (thank goodness), but he did ask me to keep the mileage low on each run and always take rest days between. I'm a terrible patient. I was feeling good, awesome in fact, so I did a 7 miler and then ran three days in a row. It shouldn't surprise me that the pain flared back up right before what might have been my last session. Lesson learned. I reduced my Saturday 8 miler to 4 and did not skip rest days anymore.


#TrainingTruth: I eat pasta for pre-race meals, but I like to spice it up.

Every runner knows that pasta is a great meal for loading up on carbs before a big race. It's also a quick, easy meal to make when life gets hectic. I like to make traditional pasta, but even more I like to make it Cincinnati style. To make it, all I need is to get my hands on some Skyline Chili (I stock up when I'm home or ask my family to mail me some), cook some spaghetti, and add some cheese.

If you don't have access to Skyline Chili, you can follow this recipe that my aunt recommend to me in case I ever run out:

   1 quart cold water
   2 lbs ground beef
   2 cups crushed tomato
   2 yellow onions, diced
   4 garlic cloves, minced
   1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
   1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
   1/4 cup chili powder
   1 tsp cayenne
   1 tsp ground cumin
   2 tbsp cider vinegar
   1 whole bay leaf
   1/4 tsp ground cloves
   1 tsp cinnamon
   1 1/2 tsp salt
   cooked spaghetti to serve chili over

1. Add beef and water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes and add all the rest of the ingredients. 
2. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours. Add water as needed if the chili becomes to thick. 

3. Refrigerated the chili overnight, and the next day remove the layer of fat from top before reheating and serving.

Don't forget to check out WIAW recipes also!

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to asses ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments

I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fitness Friday: Summer Fun Runs

I have run lots of traditional road races: 5Ks to half marathons. With the exception of this one, they are always what you expect. This summer I am trying something new and signed up for a couple of fun runs.

The LoziLu is a women's only 5K trail run with exciting obstacles and a fun post-race party. Now even though it's a "mud run" this event is all about the girlie-girl in all of us.
"Beyond the perfect mud run and a whole heap of fun, your registration provides you a super sweet stainless steel LoziLu water bottle, a stylish LoziLu Sweaty Band, fabulous fun, snacks, beverages, an adult beverage*, bonding with the girls, stickers, free event photos, and a DJ hosted party to shake your groove thang. LoziLu is kind of a sweet deal for all day entertainment."
I signed up to run this race with a team of NH bloggers led by Heather who aptly named us Team Bad Ass Blogger Babes! I really hope we win the largest team award because I hear the prize is WINE!

After covering myself in mud, I'm going to cover myself in color. Color Me Rad is 5K event in which your white shirt becomes a canvas of color as you are bombed with blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow corn starch.
At the finish line you'll be greeted by "the royal rumble of color. Every 15 – 20 minutes everyone will grab handfuls of color and pummel each other until you're black and blue (from corn starch – no real bruising will occur). There will be music, food, and sponsors welcoming you across the finish line with open arms."
I'm running this as part of Team FitFluential and even though I have a feeling there's not going to be a huge amount of actual running going on, I think it's going to be a crazy fun run!

Don't forget to use PROMO code CCAMB8 when you register for ZOOMA Cape Cod. It gets you $10 off the half or $5 off the 10K. There is a price increase tomorrow.

What new things are you planning this summer?  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts and Rachel Ray

Last week was a busy week with school, graduation, a faculty party, and trip to MA for a family shindig. I was only able to complete 2/3 of my scheduled training runs for a weekly total of 12 miles and I had to get creative to make that happen!


#TrainingTruth: I really like the feeling of a PR!

On Saturday I had 7 miles on schedule, but I also had a 5K that didn't start until 10 AM. In order to get in my mileage for the day, I chose to run 4 miles before the race. I've never done that before, but we were leaving after the race to drive 2.5 hours to MA. I had to go before.

My goal for the 5K was to do at least as well as last year, and I thought this might be a struggle because of the pre-race run. After crossing the finish line of the non-chip timed race, it dawned on me that I might have done better than last a lot.

Later that evening I checked the results and discovered that not only did I beat my time from last year, but also my PR from SIX YEARS AGO! I am really starting to like the feeling of becoming a better runner!

#TrainingTruth: I'm a little nervous about running in the summer heat.


As we make our way through the month of June in New England, the temperature has been steadily climbing. We've already had some really warm days, and I find myself struggling with breathing and maintaining my energy. I don't know much about how to run in the heat and I want all of my runs to be productive, so I've got some researching to do.


#TrainingTruth: I could eat parm-crusted haddock daily!

In an effort to try to eat healthy and because we love fish, we have been trying new recipes. Rachel Ray has a great recipe for tilapia, but we modified it for one of our favorite fish, haddock. It's a process to make, but it's so delicious!

You can find the original recipe in her book rachel ray's look + cook on page 136 or on the Rachel Ray Show website. And more delicious recipes can be found here.

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to asses ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments of the weekly post
  4. Link up below

I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Put Some ZOOM in Your Training

The start of summer can have different effects on our fitness routines. Some people are motivated and charge full steam ahead into their training and workouts. Others may be feeling a little lazy and fighting the urge to relax on the beach instead of get up and move. Then there is always so much more to do in the warm fabulous days of summer.

Whether you are ready to jump in or need a little motivation, the Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon/10K is a perfect way to do it.
"ZOOMA is a national women's race series that takes running and celebrating to the extreme. ZOOMA half marathon and 10k or 5K races are followed by a fabulous post-race party with massages, wine, music and more!" 
When you sign up for Zooma Cape Cod you get access to Train Like a Mother training plans as well as opportunities to attend training runs sponsored by City Sports - Back Bay location in Boston.

This race is the perfect opportunity to get together with all your girlfriends. You can train together, run a race together, and then party on the Cape together!  

As a Zooma Ambassador I can offer you a discount on the Cape Cod registration. All you have to do is enter the promo code CCAMB8 to get $10 the half marathon or $5 off the 10K. The price increases on June 23 so hurry to get the best deal!

You won't regret registering for this event. Zooma offers tremendous support through the blog, their Facebook page, and Twitter.

How do you stay motivated during the summer?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kickoff to Summer

June 18 - On Saturday I ran the Kickoff to Summer 5K for the third time. This is a fundraiser race for the local elementary school in my town and dedicated in memory to local father Dave Cramb who passed away in 2008. This year I recruited my husband, step daughter, and BRF. My goal was to do as good or better than my 28:06 time from last year.

My BRF and I had a seven mile long run on our training schedule so we ran four miles before the race. We opted to run along the river, a simple out & back. It was a cool morning with bright blue skies and a pleasant breeze. Our pre-race run was a first for me. I've often seen and heard others talk about running before or after a race to get in the mileage, but I admit that I always thought they were kind of crazy. Now that I understand the importance of a proper training program, I get it. Afterwards, we met my step daughter and husband at the registration area before heading to the grand stand for the Opening Ceremony.

After a few brief words, a moment of silence, and the singing of the National Anthem all the runners and walkers headed to the start line. The combination paved and dirt road course starts at the Central School and loops through the local fair grounds. It's an easy, relatively flat course. The race started on time with a lap around the school and then headed out onto the main road for .75 mile before turning into the fair grounds. The next 1.5 miles followed a dirt road out and looped back around. Here there was a lot of congestion formed by the runners who had stopped to walk. The last .50 mile was a slight incline to the finish.

What I love about this race is that it is organized entirely by volunteers and they do an awesome job. They provide three water tables along the course staffed by students and parents from the school. It also includes a one mile fun run for kids and a kids' mad dash for the little ones prior to the start of the 5K run/walk. The only improvement would be to have chip timing.

I'd been looking forward to this race because it was the first one I ran after moving to NH. That year was not my best running performance, but last year I did much better. This time I not only did better than the previous year, but also beat my six year old 5K PR with a time of 27:35 and 6th in my age group!

After finishing, I hung out with BRF while waiting for my step daughter (who was only a minute behind me) and husband to finish. We ran into a fellow teacher who was the third overall finisher this year! We cooled down over some delicious home made food and good conversation.

After the race, I was notified by Heather that I was being featured on her blog Running with Sass. Heather is a Mississippi girl who was inspired to run after watching her friends run the Disney World Marathon. Head over to her blog to see what she has accomplished since then!

Thanks Heather!

What do you like most about races?

How do you "kickoff" your summer?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts and Yogurt

June 13 - If I'm going to become a better runner, I have to take time to think about what I'm actually doing. Obviously I'm running, but what else is going on that might help or hinder my training?

In an effort to be more conscientious about my fitness choices I'm starting a weekly post in which I will share...well, my training truths. Mainly I'll be focusing on my workouts and food, but really any topic is fair game. The point is to be honest and maybe learn something.


#TrainingTruth: Sometimes I run when I shouldn't because I'm so caught up in meeting the weekly mileage.

Two weeks ago I officially started following another Nike+ training program as I get ready for half marathon #5. Even though I have been running regularly since last August, I still like the structure and guidance of a plan.

This plan suggests three runs each week. Week 1 of the program I missed a day because of a work event so I didn't reach my weekly mileage. Week 2 was better and I even ran an extra day trying to catch up a little. This is a good way to get an injury.

#TrainingTruth: I am consistent with strength training in small portions.

I've been working on strengthening my core. I love these weekly workouts and wrote about them here. When I faithfully followed these 30 day challenges in the past, my running felt better, easier. Last month I tried to do more than one challenge and that was a big fail. Lesson learned. Don't over do it!


#TrainingTruth: I need yogurt to counter the side effects of the junk food I like to eat.

I have always been a picky eater with stomach issues on top of the fact that I devour all things salty and by definition "junk." I tried Activia because Jamie Lee Curtis said that in two weeks I would feel awesome.  I don't know how it works; I can only attest that it does...for me. Running is much easier when you don't have to worry about stomach issues. My favorite flavor is Raspberry...

Want to know what others are eating? Go here

What have you learned about yourself this week?

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to asses ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary. If you feel like sharing your #TrainingTruths, tag a Twitter post with the hashtag, comment on Facebook, or leave a link to your post in the comments below. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bloggers Unite

June 11 - Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet up with some awesome New Hampshire ladies. We had a fun time getting to know one another and chatting about bloggingrunning, and races. There's nothing better than meeting more women passionate about running and fitness.

Let me introduce you:

Janine - blogs at The Purple Giraffe. She wears tutus when she runs!

Angela - blogs at Happy Fit Mama. She's a marathoner!

Sarah - blogs at Run Far Girl. She used to teach high school English!

Cheryl - blogs at Live Fit Daily. She's a Georgia Peach!

This summer I will be running the Lozilu Women's Mud Run in Boston along with Angela, the Color Me Rad 5K with Janine, Cheryl and possibly Angela, and maybe I can convince Sarah to run Zooma Cape Cod. Hopefully there will be some non-running adventures to get us together again too!

Do the people in your life share your passion 
for running or fitness?

What new adventure have you been on recently?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

June 6 - National Running Day is a day for people to declare their love and passion for running as well as make resolutions and set new goals. I made a bold move last year.

Most runners will tell you that every day is running day, and I agree.

However, setting aside a day to come together to celebrate and encourage others who may be just beginning their running adventures can be an awesome experience.

The National Running Day website has some great suggestions for celebrating, but all you really need to do is get out there and run.

Pin this if you ran or plan to run today!

Happy National Running Day!

How will you celebrate?
I'll be running with my BRF after school today!

Why do you run?
I run because it makes me smile and keeps me fit.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Goal Maintenance 101

June 1 - Most of us set goals for ourselves at the start of the new year. I am no different. How can we ensure successful completion of the goals that we set?

1. Check Progress: To be successful at achieving our goals, we must take time to reflect. We should not only decide what we want to achieve, but also determine a plan for assessing our progress. Every day? Once a week? Monthly? Find what works for the type of goals you have set.

2. Big versus Small: Many of us set large goals for ourselves: i.e. "run a marathon." This is good, but by making smaller sub-goals we are more likely to see the results we want. A sub-goal to "run a marathon" might be "run a half marathon."

3. Adjust: If you find that a goal you set for yourself feels out of reach, change it up. Extend the end date. Reduce the total miles. Tweak the goal pace. Making accommodations is better than giving up.

In January, I wrote about my goals for the year, and although I think I have been keeping up with them, I haven't assessed my progress since the end of February. Yikes!

No time like the present:

1. Keep Running: Although my miles have decreased as I struggle to get through my calf issue, I have maintained a fair amount of miles for March, April, and May.

2. Run a Race every Month: This goal has been fun to keep. Sometimes I even ran more than one race because so many of them sounded fun.

3. Continue to improve my blog: Running Escapades was nominated for Fitness Magazine's Fiteratti Award, featured on Fitblogger, and nominated for a One Lovely Blog Award.

4. Add another New England state to the list of places I have run: Not until August...

5. Keep meeting new running friends: Met up with some FFAs at the Saucony Find Your Strong Event and another Rhode Scholar Blogging Ambassador in Providence.

How do you make sure you keep your goals?