Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WIAW: Quinoa Pizza Bites

Today, instead of talking about running adventures, I'm sharing my recent food adventure!

At the beginning of the month, mr. C and I went WHEAT FREE! I downloaded a copy of the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health and cleaned out the cabinets. We are doing this as an experiment. Neither one of us have a medical issue or health concern. We just want to see if we will really feel better by eliminating all wheat/gluten from our diets.

While tossing all of the food that had wheat in it, I was shocked to see how many bread products we were using at each meal. I was tossing out English muffins, bread, tortillas, buns, and pasta. Then I moved on to reading labels and tossing sauces, soups, cereal, and chips.

Soon, I was thinking, What are we going to eat? My meals have been so programmed to include some sort of wheat product, that I worried we would be starving!

I was wrong.

Over the past four weeks, I have been learning a lot about food and trying some new recipes. In my last WIAW post, I shared some of the smoothie recipes I've been making. Recently, I tried quinoa for the first time.

Lack of planning on my part forced me to modify the recipe I found online because I didn't have the exact ingredients, but I don't think it interfered with the end result at all.

When I make this again, I will definitely use mozzarella cheese and fresh basil as the original recipe lists and a little more pepperoni.

Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe?

You can also find tons of great recipes at Jenn's WIAW link up!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 7

It was week #2 on the sidelines despite my best efforts to be a good runner. Do you ever feel like when you start to focus on doing more of the good-for-you stuff, an injury suddenly appears? That is how I have felt this summer.

I spent the month of June adding yoga stretching poses to my daily routine by participating in the Athleta Seize-the-Solstice challenge and working to strengthen my core with a July Ab challenge. I also found an easy hip strengthening routine by Coach Jay called The Myrtl Routine.

It appears that I should have spent more time on my a$$. Seriously, PT Brian told me that my weak glutes make my hamstrings and hip flexors work overtime leading to strains. You'd think I'd have plenty of power packed back there by the looks of it, but no such luck. 

Monday - As much as I wanted to run, I made myself wait until after my chiropractor appointment. So it was another day of more rest except my August challenge core work modified as needed.

Tuesday - I went for my adjustment first thing in the morning where he found my hips out of whack (shocker). I decided to let the adjustment set before attempting a run, so it was more rest and core work only.

Wednesday - It took all of 10 seconds for me to realize that my hip was not ready for me to make my BIG COMEBACK. Following a minor melt-down, mr. C and I took the bikes out for 4+ miles. I followed up with my core work and then went to PT in the afternoon. I've had success in the past with ART, so I'm hoping this time is no different.

Thursday - My morning started with some core work and then I walked 3.61 miles on treadmill. 

Friday - I rode the bike on one of my 5 mile running routes. It has a good sized hill to tackle on the way back. I don't know why I thought it would be easier on a bike!

Saturday - I completed day 24 of my strength challenges, a glute strength routine and a round of Coach Jay's Myrtl before jumping on the treadmill for a 1.5 mile walk.

Sunday - challenge core work and some casual swimming at the lake.

I have another PT session today and then I'm hoping to lace up my Wave Creations. My goal for the week is to continue working on my glute strength and maybe run the 10 Miler on Saturday?!?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitness Friday: Treadmill Desk

I first got the idea for a treadmill desk after seeing Al Roker from the Today Show use his. I don't know what kind he has, but there are some really fancy ones that you can buy for A LOT of money. The cheapest one I found was $479! So, I mentioned to mr. C that I would love to have a treadmill desk and BAM! He made it happen.

He said it was a pretty simple process, so I'm going to let him tell you about it!

Hi.  First let me start by stating that this is my first attempt at blogging, as it was in making a treadmill desk.

I researched homemade treadmill desks on the internet, of course, and there were many listings.  I eventually selected a video that was well done.  I wish I could give proper credit to the girl who made that video, but I do not have that info anymore.

Basically, here it is:  Select a proper, desired sized board, get 2 brackets.  Put them together, and Voila!

For the board, I went with a 1inch x 12 inch board approximately 5 feet long, plain pine, straight and smooth as I could find, and of course with the best looking grain.

Now the brackets.  Most brackets would work, and there are many designs to choose from in the home improvement type stores.  As it turns out, the style I found and selected are heavy duty, and rated for far more than I needed for this project.  But they would work.

Some assembly required! (Very little)  Now place the board across the handle / rails of the treadmill and get the table / board to the position you want.  With the brackets loosely in place flush to the underside of the board, and straddling the treadmill handle / rails, simply mark where the brackets are to be attached.  Now, simply remove from the treadmill, and attach the brackets to the underside of the board in the previously determined locations.  Just make sure the screws you use are shorter than the board is thick.  Feel free to sand and paint or stain your desktop.  Not necessary. You should then be the proud owner and designer of a wonderful, practical treadmill desk.

I didn't realize just how much use I would be getting out of the homemade treadmill desk that mr. C made me, but it has been very nice to have while I'm on the sidelines dealing with my hip flexor issues. I can spend hours walking and working and feel little guilt about my blogging activities ;)

Happy Friday everyone!

What homemade fitness gear have you (or your other) made to save money?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Active Accessories Review

First let me say Thank You for all your kind words of encouragement as I deal with being sidelined from running.

My fellow FitFluential Ambassador, Karen, recently started her own company called Active Accessories. She generously shared one of her popular products with me, the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch.

If you're like me, then you understand the stress of carting around your workout gear. During the school year, I sometimes run after work which means I need somewhere to store my watch and jewelry. On weekends and during the summer, if I take a class or drive to my running route, I like to have my ID and some cash, but not my entire purse.

The On-The-Go Accessory Pouch is just the right size to meet my needs. It can easily store hairbands and jewelry in the zipper compartment, cash and IDs in the pocket, and my phone fits in the middle.

With the easy to use clasp, you can attach the pouch to your gear bag, or wear it around your wrist.

The best part about the size of the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch is that it is convenient for those days when you don't want to carry your purse with you while your out & about. There's plenty of room for your basic essentials and it's fashionable.

Before receiving the On-The-Go Accessory Pouch from Active Accessories, I used a small change purse and a small pouch to store all my items. Now I can combine everything into one and attach it to my gear bag or my work bag.

Disclosure: I received my On-The-Go Accessory Pouch at no charge to review, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 6

It was not a good week - except for those of you who won some protein from Designer Whey! Check the list of winners at the bottom of this post.

In my last training truths post, I told you my plan to give my cranky hamstring the break it needed to cheer up. No such luck.

My plans for running 3 days instead of 4 last week went out the window on Monday when I found my little hamstring/hip problem had worsened and I could not walk without pain. So instead of logging miles, I was rolling, icing, and popping ibuprofen.

Monday & Tuesday - lots of TLC, and some easy core challenge work. I spent 48 hours thinking that I should not have run 9 miles on Sunday.

Wednesday - finally feeling some improvement, I walked 2.14 miles on the treadmill while working on the computer plus completed my daily dose of core work.

Thursday - rolled & iced before spending about 6+ hours in the car driving to Maine to pick up my step daughter from her summer job.

Friday - walked 2.1 miles on the TM and got caught up on my core challenges. I made the bad decision to do skater jumps which fired the hip pain up again.

Saturday - took a complete rest day from all exercise. (but I really wanted to lace up my Mizunos and go for a run).

Sunday - Early morning core workout for two days and an afternoon walking workout of 3.5 miles on the TM.

As much as I want to run today, I'm forcing myself to wait until I see my chiropractor on Tuesday. I am hoping that I will feel better after my adjustment and can go for a run.

What is the longest break you have taken from your running/sport? The longest for me was after the RnR Providence in 2011.

Congratulations to the Designer Whey giveaway winners!

#31 Katie
#9   Desiree
#15 Amy @Long Drive Journey
#20 Jordan Dunne
#10 Mary Beth Scimemi
#12 Casey

Please email me at by 10AM Wednesday August 21, 2013 with your mailing address so I can forward your information.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday: Fall Wish List

It's back to school time everywhere I look. Now even though I have more than two weeks of summer left, it doesn't hurt to start thinking about what I'm going to need for the Fall...running gear that is!

I've been on an unexpected break from running this week (more on that in Monday's post), so to make myself feel better I've been browsing all the running gear sites, flipping through catalogs, and checking out the latest IT items in the magazines.

Here are a few items on my Back to School Running Wish List:

Mizuno Wave Creation 14 - just a new color that I like in a shoe that I really love. I don't really need new shoes, not really ;)

Athleta Metta Hoodie Sweater. This would be perfect to wear to my step daughter's soccer games after my after-school runs. It gets cool quickly and this is a cute spin on a typical sweatshirt hoodie.

Nike Dri-Fit Graphic No-Show tab training socks. For some reason these are very hard to find, but they are the most comfortable running socks. I've worn them for years and get a lot of miles out of them. Time to replace the old ones.

Go Pro Hero3 Silver Edition. This would be the coolest TOY to have. I saw pictures that a guy captured while wearing it during the NYC half marathon, and they are amazing! I would love to get pictures like that!

What's on your "back-to-school" fitness wish list?
If Designer Whey protein is your wish list, there is still time to enter my giveaway. Winners will be announced in Monday's post!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

#DesignerWhey Sustained Energy Review & Giveaway!

Back in December, my running friend took me for a smoothie at a local cafe. It was a perfectly delicious way to celebrate our long run. After that, I really looked forward to those post-run smoothies.

This summer I started making my own smoothies. First I bought pre-made packets and just added milk, because I had no idea where to begin. Then after researching smoothie recipes, I began using my own ingredients. I found a really simple HOW TO graphic on Pinterest that was helpful.

When I found out that I was selected to participate in the FitFluential campaign for Designer Whey I was super excited because a boost was the only ingredient missing from my homemade smoothies. I learned a long time ago that consuming protein after a workout helps aid in the recovery process.

When I opened the box I discovered that Designer Whey sent me their new product, Sustained Energy, to try in two flavors: Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Velvet.

From the website: 
Designer Whey® Sustained Energy™ is specifically formulated with our proprietary Endurance Blend™. Designed to give you balanced, stimulant-free, sustained energy through fast absorbing whey protein and slower absorbing soy and casein proteins, giving you a steady supply of essential amino acids while helping you control hunger with fiber.  Packed with 16 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and 19 Essential Vitamins & Minerals and naturally flavored and sweetened – all for only 100-good-for-you calories! 
I don't know about you, but after my long runs sometimes it's all I can do to stay awake. All I want to do is take a nice long nap! Designer Whey Sustained Energy turned out to be the perfect product for me to try.

Judging one's own energy level for changes is hard. I've made a couple of batches of smoothies and one treat, and here is what I can tell you:
  1. I did not take a nap or feel like taking a nap after my 9 mile long run.
  2. After dental work, I almost always take a nap. Instead I had a smoothie. No nap!
  3. Rainy days usually make me sleepy. Not the day I ate some of my frozen treats.
Before trying Designer Whey I knew I wanted to purchase protein to use at home, I just didn't know what brand to buy. I'm happy with the Sustained Energy product so far and would put it on my shopping list.

Here are some of my protein recipes. Feel free to pin :)

Designer Whey would like to give you a chance to try Sustained Energy for yourself. To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment telling me which flavor you would like to try. I will randomly select 6 winners and announce in my blog post on Monday August 19th.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 5

I have really been liking my summer running schedule of 4 days per week. In preparation for my September half marathon, I have been running 5 mile routes 3x per week and then following my long run plan on either Saturday or Sunday. The bad news is that my left hamstring has started bothering me, so I did a couple of walking workouts using the new laptop board my husband made for me and took some extra rest days.

Wanting and needing a change of scenery, on Monday I drove into town and ran 5 miles along the river. The weather was cool and the route was semi-peaceful - just a little morning traffic and one barking black lab protecting his domain.

Spoiled by my bike trail run in Ohio, on Wednesday I recruited mr. C for an adventure. We drove 25 minutes to Peterborough to check out the bike path I heard about from my Daily Mile friend Colleen. It was a mix of paved path-sidewalk-neighborhood road. We loved it. We parked on the south side and ran north through Depot Square where we found a quaint collection of shops and cafes.

I developed a pain in my left hip- turned out to be a tight inner hamstring muscle - that went from nagging to almost making me limp, so on Thursday I went for an easy walk of 4.15 miles on the treadmill and used my brand new laptop board. I told mr. C that I wished I could multitask during my walking workouts and voila! He's the greatest.

My 5 mile run on Friday became a another rest day to give my tender hamstring more rest time before Sunday's long run. I still completed my daily exercises for the #AugustCoreFocus and #SweatADay challenges I am doing this month. I also iced, rolled, and compressed in my Aspaeris pivot shorts.

Feeling in good shape, Sunday we went back to the Peterborough Trail to do my scheduled 9 miles. This trail is a gold mine for runners who like paved paths, peace from traffic, and shade. I made a point to stop to stretch my crabby hamstring a few times during the run, but overall it was a good run.

Heading into next week, I know I need to take it easy or this hamstring issue could get worse. I'm thinking I might return to a three day running week again and cross my fingers.

How do you deal with injury?

Friday, August 9, 2013

#GoalGetter2013 July Update

Wow! Summer seems to be flying by, but not without fun, adventure, and new stuff! Of course I have also been working toward my goals for for the year and today I'm taking a look back at my adventures and how I did in July.

Say Hello to Fast!

The best way to start a new month is with some new gear and thanks to Mizuno and the Mezamashii Run Project, I received a pair of Wave Sayonaras. These shoe are so different from any other shoe I've worn, and I love having them in my training rotation.

Time to Start Training

I spent the first week of summer blissfully enjoying the lack of a training schedule (especially because it was so hot), but then quickly realized that it was time to start getting ready for the ZOOMA Cape Cod half marathon. So I wrote up a 12 week plan and crossed my fingers for a break in the heat wave.

Snacking on Stonyfield

I attended another #Blog&Tweet event organized by Janine and Allie of New Hampshire Blogger and Tweeters. We had a great time learning about Stonyfield organic yogurts made right here in New Hampshire. After LOTS of taste testing, I discovered a new favorite yogurt product that I can't have enough of.

Hula Hustle 10K

My only summer race was one big LUAU party! I had given up running races in the summer because of the heat and humidity, but this one made promises I couldn't resist. The Millennium Running Hula Hustle 5K/10K was definitely worth the warm weather run and will stay on my race schedule.

2013 Goal Highlights:

Still chasing 1000 miles for the year with a monthly goal of 80+, I'm happy to report that in July I ran 80.41 miles (thanks to a two-a-day one mile run to put me over the top!). I am hoping to carry this success into my August running.

I started a 30 day ab challenge that fell by the wayside when I went to Cincinnati, but I did complete 21 days. In August I hope to be more consistent and follow through with the challenges I'm doing.

How did you do in July?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Training Truths: ZOOMA Week 4

Coming back from vacation a couple of weeks ago, I felt relaxed, refreshed, and reenergized. This made it easier to unpacked my suitcase and get back on track with my half marathon training last week.

On Tuesday I went out for my regular 5 mile out and back. Normally I turn around at what looks like a Floating House, but instead I took a left and turned the route into a loop. It shorted me about a half mile, but it was fun to check out a new part of the neighborhood. The first half of the run was on the road while the second half was more dirt road or trail like.

Since Wednesday was the last day of July, I couldn't resist adding some more miles to my monthly total. Even though it was a really nice day, I didn't want to deal with cars, bugs, or heat so I jumped on the treadmill and ran an easy 6 miles. This was my longest run in the Wave Sayonaras and my legs seemed ok with that distance. Then I went out later to run another mile just to bring my monthly total to 80. I blame the Sweaty Challenge!

Thursday morning was one of those kind that runners love in the summer: cool with low humidity. So even though I was planning a rest day, I laced up my "other" pink Mizunos, the Wave Rider 15 Limited Editions, and ran a 5K to the beach and back.

Thursday was also the first day of the August challenges I signed up to do. The August Core Focus is hosted by Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints and will help participants build core stability. The #SWEATADAY Instagram Challenge by Under Armour encourages women to kick it into high gear every day.

Saturday morning's weather continued to be cool and perfect for the long run. After contemplating driving somewhere to run my scheduled 8.5 miles, I faced the truth that I was really trying to get out of running HILLS and let's face it, there are hills everywhere in NH. So, I ran local starting at my driveway.

At the end of my fourth week of ZOOMA training I'm feeling good with the way things are going. I've had a few minor aches and pains, but I have been treating myself to some good old fashion foam rolling, stretching, and strength training.

How are you doing?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Where I Run: Loveland Bike Trail

First let's get some giveaway business out of the way...
The winner of the Reebok Spartan Race entry is Karen Zehner! Congratulations!
If you didn't win, you can still grab a discount code here

I'm linking up with some of my running blogger friends to showcase some of the places we spend time in our running shoes. As runners, we run all over the place. Sometimes we return to the same routes out of convenience or because we fall in love with them. Some places we never go back to or only get to experience once.

I thought it would be fun to highlight one of the places I have run recently. Last week I was back home in Cincinnati trying to squeeze in my training runs while visiting my family and friends. While looking for a place to run near my Gpa's, my stepdad asked if I'd ever run the Loveland Bike Trail.

The Loveland Bike Trail is part of the Little Miami Scenic Trail which makes up 78 miles of the southern leg of the Ohio to Erie Trail. Like many of the trails near where I live in New Hampshire, the Little Miami Scenic Trail follows an old railroad bed.

There are many trailheads, but we decided to access the trail from Miami Riverview Park because there would be easy parking and restrooms available. We were not disappointed. The park was empty because it was a rainy morning, but the restrooms were open and clean.

A path led us right out of the park and across the road connecting directly to the trail. Most of the trail was a paved flat path through lush green vegetation. Every so often we caught glimpses of the Little Miami River,  or passed by smaller play areas, and picnic areas.

The trail passed through downtown historic Loveland where we found restaurants offering outdoor seating along the trail, bike rentals, and shopping. There was also access to public restrooms and smaller parks.

We ran an easy paced out and back 8 miles on the trail. After changing into dry clothes in those incredibly clean park restrooms, we made our way back to downtown Loveland to have brunch at Paxton's Grille right of the trail. You know you're in a good place when they go ahead and serve you breakfast even though it's technically now lunch. I'd love to go back and sit outside on a sunny day.

After lunch we walked across the street to my favorite running store in Cincinnati, The Running Spot, set up in the old train station. We made some small purchases at their sale and grabbed a copy of the trail map.

Most of us have seen nicely paved bike trails as a great place to run. What makes the Loveland Bike Trail so brilliant is the way the local businesses and community embrace it and make it part of the everyday culture. Who wouldn't want to stop for an ice cream cone or read up on an infamous train robbery?

This is the kind of trail where you will find something new and fascinating each time you go.

#WhereIRun Link Up!!

Join the link up by adding a link to your own post below: