Monday, July 30, 2012

Running Escapades Guide to Social Media

Using social media can be overwhelming.

Once you get the hang of it though, you will discover a world of information and support you may have never dreamed possible.

Inspired by a Women's Running Magazine blog post, I thought I would explain social media the Running Escapades way:

Here's what Women's Running Magazine blog posted:

I don't use all the social media on the list (Linked In & Google+) and I do use a couple not on the list (Daily Mile & Nike+), but it was fun making my guide.

How do you use social media?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fitness Friday: Aha! Moments

It can be a glance in the mirror, looking through recent pictures, an inability to do something you thought you could do, or becoming injured.

That's right. I'm talking about aha! moments. The defining moment when you decide to get up and move, the epiphany that motivates you to get active, the revelation that you need to make a change, a breakthrough that sparks you set a goal and go after it. Most of us have had at least one, so I'm sharing some that I've collected from my fellow ambassadors at FitFluential and Fit Approach to inspire you, encourage you, and get you pumped up!

Shannon from The Girl's Got Sole

My moment was in September of 2008. It forever changed my life. I saw photos of myself and just knew that wasn't how I wanted to live anymore. I finally dropped the weight and have never and will never look back. I love the healthy and fit person I now am.

Mindy from Road Runner Girl

My a-ha moment was after I ran across the finish line at my first 5K! It hit me that I was actually a runner and could do this! I was never much of an athlete...I couldn't find that one thing that I was good at...until I started running. Since that day I have ran many races including 9 half marathons and 1 full marathon! Anyone can do it if you work hard and set your mind to do it!

Laura from scribbles & sass

I began taking yoga classes in University, but didn't really fall in love with the practice until 2010. I was recovering from a bad ankle injury and discovered the benefits it had on healing my body and healing my soul. The immediate sense of well-being was intoxicating; I became a much more powerful force. Since then I have made it my mission to introduce as many people -friends, family members, even some strangers - to yoga so they could share my experience and journey. The community that yoga creates is like no other, I invite you to try a class; if you're in Calgary come to one with me! Breathe deep. Smile. Twirl. Toss glitter. Write.

Katie from The Hungry Runner

In high school, I was a swimmer. I was active, fit, and healthy, and never had to worry about what I ate. But when I went away to college, I gave up swimming, and soon after, the pounds started packing on. At the time, I thought that I knew how to eat healthily and figured that 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym a few days every week was plenty of exercise. Yet, I couldn't figure out why, despite my "healthy and active" routine, I wasn't able to lose the Freshman 15 that I had gained.

When I look back at that time now, I see that my two major obstacles were that I didn't know how to work out to lose weight, and despite what I thought, I had no idea what it actually meant to eat healthily. I finally took control after enlisting the help of a personal trainer, and with a whole lot of hard work and dedication, I've slimmed back down to my "swimmer status" and I feel stronger and fitter than ever. I still love to eat, but in a much healthier way than ever before. I've learned that being fit and healthy has to become part of your life. Now, I'm a personal trainer myself and my passion is to help others discover the fun in fitness and the excitement in eating healthily.


My aha! moment came in March 2010, when after walking 1 flight of stairs I was so out of breath and broke out into a sweat. I was 25 at the time and weighed 237 lbs. (5'6"). I knew if I kept living the way I did, it was only going to get worse and I was afraid of dying at an early age as a result of my poor, sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle. I found a nutritionist and enrolled at a new gym that was opening by my job and I have not looked back. I lost 87 lbs. and went from a size 18 to a size 6. I finally feel like I am really living. I am strong, healthy, and fit.

Abby from Back At Square Zero

I decided to take my roommate's dog for a run. Neither of us made it past the mailbox. It was scary - Something I thought I would be able to do was so hard. I knew I was overweight  and unhappy with my body. However, I never realized how out of shape I was until that moment and suddenly I knew I had to do something about it. If I didn't I was sure I would continue to gain weight, stay out of shape, and just get unhealthier. It was time for a change.

That oh crap, time to wake up, moment happened about 5 years ago, but in truth it never really stuck. I would run a few days and then quit for months at a time. Then try to start again and be frustrated because it was so hard. A little over two years ago I started to get more serious about it. However, I really began considering myself a runner on October 1st 2010. That is the day I started half marathon training. I made a promise to myself that I was going to commit to: I was going to become a runner, I was going to finish the race, and I wasn't going to let myself down. Ever since then I haven't stopped. Running is now truly a part of who I am.

Charlene from Running With Charlene

2010. My youngest son challenged my to run a mile, I could not. I vowed to never let that happen again. 7 moths later, I ran my first Half Marathon and have run close to 50 races since then.

Tenecia from Boobs, Barbells, and Broccoli

My "aha" moment came when I saw a picture of myself from a wedding and the woman I saw each time in the mirror was not the woman in the picture!! I was eating & drinking way too much as means of dealing with the loss of a child. Seeing the "real" me was the slap on the forehead I needed to start eating better, moving more, and working to cross a lofty goal (competing in a figure competition) off of my bucket list! You can read more about her moment here.

Talia from Bite Size Wellness

My aha moment that finally kicked me into gear was seeing myself in the screen of a digital camera. There was no "good side" or cute outfit that could hide the fact that I completely let myself go during my college days...and so began my healthy living journey!

Meredith from Dare You To

My "a-ha moment" was the moment I crossed the finish line of my first 5k race. Prior to this year, I loathed running, but had begun running to challenge myself, to get out of my comfort zone. Crushing my goal time for that 5K, I proved to myself that change is possible. I went from the slow girl in gym class who walked half of her "mile" to a regular runner on the road, running three or four miles at a time. If I can do that, what else am I capable of? I learned to never hold myself back or assume that I can't. Change is possible at any age, at any fitness level! Take the plunge and strive for better. I dare you ;)


My aha! moment came after spending a weekend in the Outer Banks for my friend's wedding. When I saw myself in the pictures, I was shocked! I barely recognized the person I saw. How had I let myself gain so much weight? After the jolt, I realized that I had been spending a lot of time in my new home and very little time being active, so I started running. Remembering how unhappy I was when I saw myself in those photos continues to keep me motivated today.

Have you had an aha! moment?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts & Veggie Burgers

I'm about 4 weeks away from my next big race, Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Providence, RI, and my training, although modified, has been ramping up. Last week I ran four times for a total of 21.42 miles including my longest distance (9.2 miles) since my last half marathon in May. Here are my latest..


#TrainingTruth: Running hills is really a mental game with yourself.

Part of my training for RnR Providence includes getting ready for the hilly course. I'll be honest, I dread hills. What I realized this week, however, is that I can conquer the hills if I just focus on how I'm really feeling. My legs get tired and feel the strain, but really it's my mind that wimps out. Slowing down allows both my legs and mind conquer the hill.

#TrainingTruth: Last minute rest room visits make all the difference.

As I've gotten older, I have noticed that the need to pee intensifies greatly not long after the start of my runs. I have found myself literally running across finish line of a race and not stopping until I reach the port-a-potties. Eyeballs floating is not a fun feeling! I have been making a point to visit a rest room immediately before starting my runs and it has been successful so far.


#TrainingTruth: I accidentally bought some veggie burgers and I like them.

In the summer I'm all about keeping it simple and light, especially since often times I am the only one home for lunch. I picked up some Morning Star Grillers after seeing a commercial that showed how easy it was to heat these pre-cooked burgers. It wasn't until I had my first one that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are veggie burgers. They taste good, are low in calories, high in protein and low in fat.

A favorite burger that I like to make is a salmon patty burger.


1 can salmon
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
salt & pepper


In a bowl combine drained salmon with 2 tablespoons of liquid reserved, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix ingredients together. Form into 1/4 patties. Cook in skillet over medium heat in EVOO until browned.

Don't forget to check out other great recipes at the WIAW link up at Peas & Crayons.

#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!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where is ZOOMA going?

Last week I posted my interview with ZOOMA Women's Race Series founder.

Many of you expressed how much you wish a ZOOMA race was in a city near you.

This week ZOOMA is announcing a NEW RACE LOCATION!

Check out this video:

ZOOMA will be announcing the new location on Thursday, but until then they are offering you a chance to guess the location and win a bunch of swag from the mystery location!

To enter go to the ZOOMA blog and leave a comment with your location guess.

Where would you like to see a ZOOMA race?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Building a 30 Day Challenge

Do you like 30 day challenges?

My tips for how to build your own 30 day challenge are over on the FitFluential Blog.

Go check it out and tell me what you think!

Enthusiasts: Are you passionate about fitness and would like to be in-the-know about great fitness opportunities?

Bloggers: Do you blog about fitness and want to spread your inspiration to even more people?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fitness Friday: Interview with ZOOMA Founder

This fall I will be running the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon. Touted as one of the "five best races for women" by espnW., ZOOMA Women's Race Series was started by a female runner and the staff are all women.

As a Cape Cod Ambassador, I had the opportunity to ask Founder and Executive Director, Brae Blackley, some questions about the races.

Brae cheering runners at the starting line.
1. When you started ZOOMA in 2007 what was your goal?

I started ZOOMA because I thought it would be fun – both for me and for the women who run ZOOMA races. Really, with the first race, I just wanted to see what would happen. I hoped that first race in Annapolis would succeed, but I had a very steep learning curve and anything could have happened.  I honestly never imagined that ZOOMA would be where it is today – with five events across the U.S., over 30,000 women having run a ZOOMA race, an awesome line-up of sponsors, and a dream team I love working with.

2.   How did you choose the name ZOOMA?

Choosing a name for the series took an amazingly long time… It’s hard to find a name that is unique, meaning no one else is using it for something!  ZOOMA is a nonsense word I made up that is supposed to convey feminine and fast.

3. ZOOMA race series is now in 5 cities. What does the 2013 calendar look like?

Great question!  We are announcing a new event for 2013 on July 25. We’ll announce it on our website and Facebook/Twitter.  We’ve published the dates for some of the 2013 events on our website already, but the full line up will be announced with the announced of the new event next week.

4. What has been the biggest reward of starting a national women’s race series?

Without a doubt I would say the biggest personal reward has been the people I have had the opportunity to meet and become friends with.  There are some incredibly impressive, kind, generous, and driven people in the running industry.  I owe the success of ZOOMA in many ways to the advice and support of the friends I have made.  The sort of community I have experienced is very different from the corporate law firm culture that I came from. (where advice costs you an hourly rate!)

5. Your mission is “to inspire women to live healthy, happy, and active lives.” How do you define “healthy”?

Great question. Healthy and happy go together for me, and this connection is super important for me in my personal life and is what continues to drive my passion for ZOOMA, too.

A happy life is by necessity a healthy one, because I don’t believe you can be very happy in your life unless you are healthy.  Healthy is an all-around state of balance, efficiency, and optimization.  If you are healthy, your mind is settled and at peace, your body is humming along, properly fueled and tuned, and your environment is safe and secure. I think healthfulness is a state we should all strive for above all else (money, career success, material things) because, at the end of the day, being healthy is the only way to be happy.  

Thank you to Brae for taking the time to answer my questions. I am even more excited to be a part of this national race series!

If you haven't checked out the ZOOMA Women's Race Series you can go here.

And don't forget, you can still register for Cape Cod and use my discount code CCAMB8.

Have you run in a ZOOMA event? Tell me about it.

You can find more Fitness Friday posts over on Jill's blog.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Color Me Rad 5K

Last weekend I ran the Color Me Rad 5K in Boston with Team FitFluential.

Matt, Caitlin, Janine, me, Heather

The race was held at South Shore Plaza, which is a huge mall just south of downtown. Participants had to be there by 7:15 to avoid the road closures (even though the course was set up on the mall parking lots). We made plans to meet up before our wave at 8:00.

There were so many people there and everyone was wearing WHITE! Finally I spotted the others in their team shirts!

After parting with Janine, who was still waiting in line for her race swag, we headed to the starting line. On the way we decided to have our own pre-race attempt at a color party!

After a short wait, we were off! Here is how it works: along the course there are flagged sections. When you run through the flags, volunteers toss or spray (yep, some of the color is in water form) color on you.

Even though this wasn't actually a race, or a 5K for that matter, it was TONS of fun! I had the best time hanging out with CaitlinHeather, and Matt during the run and at the finish line color party.

In addition to being tons of fun, this race has great swag. The shirt is ladies fit and the glasses are perfect for wearing during the run and after. And bonus, you can preserve your color-dyed shirt too!

This is definitely an event you want to do with a group of people - friends, family, co-workers. Just be prepared to be covered in color.

Oh, and here is a little video of the finish line color party.

*Special shout out to my husband for getting up so early, driving me down to Boston, and being our official #TeamFitFluential Photographer (once again!)

Who has done Color Me Rad?

What was your favorite part?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#TrainingTruths: Workouts & Salads

According to Daily Mile, my training last week was:

It's been awhile since I've seen that! This week I completed three training runs and ran the Color Me Rad 5K (which wasn't actually 3.1 miles...hmmm). My weekly mileage total was 19.98. I'm doing a pretty good job following the recommended 10% weekly mileage increase to avoid overuse and (re)injury.


#TrainingTruth: I have missed the long run.

As I was dealing with the knots in my calf, my PT asked me not to do long runs. Instead I had to break them up. Saturday I was able to do my first long run in nearly a month. It felt so good to put in 8 trail miles and feel good before, during, and AFTER! 

#TrainingTruth: If I want to finish my runs in the heat, I have to slow down.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to cut short a 5 mile run because of the heat. I ran too fast for the conditions, and started to feel sick and weak. I have set a goal to not have to shorten another run and feel that disappointment. Gradually, I am figuring out how to slow my pace on the hot and humid days. 


In the book Born to Run, Christopher McDougall writes about his journey to discover the secrets to running injury-free.

One interesting piece of information is what he learned from Dr. Ruth Heidrich about the runner's diet:
"Under her Tarahumara-style eating plan, lunch and dinner were built around fruit, beans, yams, whole grains, and vegetables, and breakfast was often salad. 'You get leafy greens in your body first thing in the morning and you’ll lose a lot of weight,' she urged me. Because a monster salad is loaded with nutrient-rich carbs and low in fat, I could stuff myself and not feel hungry - or queasy - when it came time to work out. Plus, greens are packed with water, so they're great for rehydrating after a night's sleep."
#TrainingTruth: Salad for breakfast is weird, but not that bad.

Although I am not planning to follow any type of vegetarian diet (I enjoy chicken and fish too much), I have been eating a salad for breakfast along with my usual Activia yogurt.
I have noticed that I feel better the rest of the day and I don't feel bulky or bloated. On days that I ran, I had plenty of energy and no stomach issues.

My salads are pretty basic: leafy greens, chopped broccoli and cauliflower, a little sharp cheese, and a dash of dressing.

Here's a Strawberry and Arugula Salad that looks delicious from eating

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 cups baby arugula or torn arugula leaves
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved and crumbled into small pieces (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1. Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a salad bowl; let cool for 5 minutes.
  • 2. Add arugula, strawberries, Parmesan, pepper and salt. Sprinkle vinegar and oil over the salad; toss gently and serve at once.

Don't forget to check out other great recipes 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
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Run By Women

Are you thinking about running in a women-only event?

My top ten reasons you should are on ZOOMA Blog today.


Check it out and tell me what you think!

And don't forget I have a discount code for you to use when you register:

Enter CCAMB8 for $10 off the half marathon and $5 of the 10K

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fitness Friday: Full of Color

July has become my month of fun runs. On Sunday I will be participating in the Color Me Rad 5K in Boston.

What it is. It is all about having a good time, running with a group of friends, and trying to turn yourself into a rainbow. You start out with a nice clean white shirt and end up covered in a "tsunami of color."

What it isn't. It's not about crossing the finish line first or setting a new PR. It's not about winning prizes or even acting like a grown up.

Here's a little preview:

I am running as part of Team FitFluential and we are going to be sporting team shirts. My shirt is a work in progress at the moment.

Janine (the crafty member of the team) has already made some that look awesome.

Janine's FB photo ;)

Sometimes we just need to take a break and do something a little non-traditional.

Thanks to Jill for hosting the Fitness Friday link up!

Have you ever run as part of a team?

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TrainingTruths: Workouts & Eggs

Last week was almost a normal week of training (if you ignore the fact that I'm still not doing my long runs). My weekly mileage total was 16+ miles and I participated in two 5Ks. You can read about the one I PR'd here and go here for the one where I got muddy.


#TrainingTruth: I have a love/hate relationship with hills.

My next big race coming up is the Rock n Roll Providence half marathon. This course is not flat, so I have been trying to work some hilly routes into my training runs. I really don't like hills, especially while I'm running up them, but after finishing a hilly route I always feel awesome.  

#TrainingTruth: I'm addicted to my running stats.

I love logging in to Nike or Daily Mile and seeing my runs posted. It's thrilling to watch the distances get longer and the totals climb higher. Seeing the stats on my watch, or my phone, or the computer gives me immediate feedback and instant gratification for the workout.


#TrainingTruth: My favorite post run protein is cheesy scrambled eggs.

My husband makes the best cheesy eggs. After an early morning long run, I love to settle down into a cup of coffee and some delicious eggs. Sometimes I have them in a tortilla wrap, but usually straight up with a cinnamon raisin bagel on the side. 

New Cheesy Eggs:
  • 1 egg + 2 whites
  • big tbsp light cream cheese
  • sprinkle of parmesan cheese
  • small handful of 2% cheddar cheese
Don't forget to check out other great recipes at WIAW link up at Peas and Crayons.

#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!

Monday, July 9, 2012

LoziLu Mud Run

Over the weekend I ran in my first women's only event at the LoziLu Women's Mud Run in Hampton Falls, NH at the Applecrest Farm Orchards.

Event organizers suggested arriving one hour prior to the start of your wave. I didn't think this would be necessary, but I'm glad I did it because the check-in process was slow with one girl checking in individuals and another checking in teams. To save time, your team captain can pick up all the packets and goody bags.

Team Badass Blogger Babes turned out to be a team of two, but that didn't bother us. Angela and I were ready to have some fun.

The 5K course was sprinkled with some crazy fun obstacles. We ran and crawled through mud, climbed over walls, walked up planks & beams, waded through waist deep water, climbed through a web of rope, over a rope wall, and more.


My favorite obstacle was the slip-n-slide. I never get the chance to dive head-first down a hill into a muddy pit and crash into people along the way!

After finishing the course, we grabbed some items from the snack drawer, paused for a picture on the red carpet, then rinsed off in the spa area.

The awesome race swag included a LoziLu tattoo (which I sported during the run), a stainless steel water bottle, and LoziLu SweatyBands!

This was such a fun run! It is an easy way to mix up the routine we fall into when following a training plan. It is a great full body workout: my arms and hamstrings got more use than they have seen in a while. It's also an adventurous way to spend some quality time with your gal pals!

What do you think about women-only events?

Have you ever done a mud run?