Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat, Sleep, Move, Enjoy

The other day my mom and I were talking on the phone and she mentioned how you need to keep the slices of your pie balanced.  Specifically for me and Mike, she meant that we can't just have our pie filled with running/triathlons.

FitFluential focuses on four main components of life: eat, sleep, move and enjoy.  You could just say that these are our pie slices!


Mike and I are working on this one but we have gotten so much better!  I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and for the most part we eat healthy.  There are times when we indulge but as long as it is in moderation that is completely fine.

On our honeymoon, we definitely ate a lot!

I don't count calories nor keep a food journal but I pay attention to when I am hungry.  If I am, I eat.   

I think that getting Bernie helped us improve this part of our life!  We had to get up extremely early to take him outside and then we were EXHAUSTED by the end of the night.

Take it from Bernie, sleep is good!

We used to go to bed at 11-11:30pm and I was constantly tired.  Now we go to bed around 10pm and are able to get 8 hours of sleep or a little bit more a night.  As triathletes, we need sleep to train adequately!


We definitely have this component of life covered!  Swimming, biking and running have become a huge part of our life in such a short amount of time.  We love to train, race and talk about training and racing.

I loved this race!

The end of our first half marathon


I think that this was the slice of life that my mom meant when we were talking, sometimes we forget to enjoy life because we train so much.  I know that when we train for our Ironman that some of the components of our life are going to have to be put on the back burner for a little while but that doesn't mean we need to let it completely take over our life.  Even if it is just one night a week where we do something completely unrelated to swimming, biking and running that will help keep us somewhat balanced.  

What are some ways that we enjoy life?  

We love to hike (which I guess could go under "move" as well), visit lighthouses, hang out with our friends and spend time with our animals. 

 I love Maine and hiking!

At Braddock Point Lighthouse


I also love to scrapbook, take classes, read and blog, of course!  Mike LOVES, probably an understatement, sports.  We are huge Yankees fans and try to go to games as often as we can, which unfortunately hasn't been in a few years but hopefully we can go sometime soon. 

At our last Yankees game!

There may be times that we have to miss a race because something else comes up in life that we want to enjoy and that's perfectly fine because that race will always be there next year!  As long as we keep balanced we will have a great life!

How do you enjoy life?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Challenge You

I try to not be too serious on this blog, but it does happen every once in awhile.

We all know that I love goals, in fact I thrive on them.  The fact that we are a little bit behind on our new recipe a week goal is slightly killing me, but we will catch up!

I also try not to offend people on my blog, but it might happen every once in awhile.

It saddens me when I see so many people lose sight of their own goals and dreams because they are hung up on what others are doing and accomplishing.  Don't get me wrong, this happens to me occasionally but I realize that I just have to "run my own race".  Running your own race can literally mean just that, but it can also apply to any facet of your life.

Focusing on how fast someone else is, how much weight they have lost, how many races they have won, etc. doesn't get you anywhere.  It might provide some motivation for a little while but in the end it just drags you down.

Instead, I challenge you to focus on how fast YOU are, how much weight YOU have lost and how many races YOU have finished (or won).  

We are all individuals for a reason and we all should be proud of our own unique accomplishments, whatever they may be.  As time goes on we may need to adjust our goals but that doesn't mean that they are any less valid than the goals of others.

Source: via Jamie on Pinterest

So again, I challenge you to "run your own race". 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Creole Potato Salad

When Mike and I went on the wine trail with our friends this past weekend, I lucked out and was able to enjoy a lot of the food provided!  However, there was one item that I really wanted to try but couldn't because it had ham in it: creole potato salad.

The one winery took their own spin on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's creole potato salad and even provided the recipe!  We have a Dinosaur Bar-B-Que cookbook so the original recipe is in there as well.  I omitted some items just because I didn't feel like buying them but next time I want to add some egg to it.

Creole Potato Salad

2 pounds red potatoes (about 3 potatoes)
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup creole mustard, Zatarain's
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp Dinosaur's creole seasoning

Mike and I have made creole deviled eggs from our cookbook so we already have the creole seasoning prepared.  Here are the ingredients for those interested:

1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup granulated onion
3 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried thyme
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp sugar

To make the potato salad, I first boiled the potatoes in water on the stove.  It took about 20 minutes and they were done when a fork went through them cleanly.

While the potatoes were boiling, I mixed the other ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.

Once the potatoes were finished, I cut them into 1 inch pieces and put them in the bowl with the other ingredients.  I mixed everything together and then sprinkled more creole seasoning on top.  Then, I covered the bowl and put it in the refrigerator.

I did take a little bite of the potato salad once it was cool so that I could try it, shh don't tell Mike!  It tastes great!  It reminds me of the creole deviled eggs and next time I definitely want to add egg to the potato salad.

Do you like potato salad?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wine and Trails Weekend

This weekend was extremely fun!

On Friday evening we hung out with two of our friends and had dinner at their house.  It was nice since we hadn't seen them in a little while!

Then on Saturday we woke up at 6am to bike 25 miles, a new PDR for both of us!  It was slow going but now we are (read: I am) more confident to take on the Tour de Keuka, which will be the third of the Finger Lakes that we ride around.  Unless we ride around another one before that!

When we got home we had to quickly change because we were going to do a wine trail with our friends and Seneca7 teammates Sarah and Mark.  We decided to do the Keuka Lake Wine Trail and included in our tickets was the ability to visit 8 wineries and sample 4-5 different wines at each location.  Since the event that we attended was called "Barbecue at the Wineries" we also got to sample different barbecue dishes at each location featuring sauces/spices from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

 Photo courtesy of Sarah

Photo courtesy of Sarah

Photo courtesy of Sarah

I actually lucked out and three places had chicken!  I did get to eat something at each location and gave Mike my pulled pork, brisket, etc.

 Photo courtesy of Sarah

Photo courtesy of Sarah

This was so much fun and we had a great time chatting.  Sarah, Mark, Mike and I have crossed paths many times here in Rochester, but we are just now becoming great friends!

The "trail" portion of the weekend wasn't done, though.  Early this morning we woke up and got ready for the first #trailsroc trail run meet up.  We headed out to Black Creek Park in Chili to hit the trails.  Mike and I have run at/near Black Creek once before but we only ran on a path and on the roads.

 Photo courtesy of TrailsRoc

When we got there almost everyone was there, but a few more stragglers showed up.  There were probably 20-30 people total, it was a great turnout!

Since Mike and I had 11 miles on our schedule we chose the longer of the two options: 6.5 miles.  The shorter option was supposed to be about 3 miles but it ended up being a little bit over 4 miles.  We all started out together at about 10-12 minutes per mile pace and then the two groups split off from each other.

The terrain was varied with some mud, tall (wet) grass and single track.  It was a lot of fun chatting with the other runners and getting to know everyone better.

Originally Mike and I had wanted to add on to our run and do another loop but after we were done we decided against it.  I don't think it is going to hurt us since 6.5 miles on the trails feels more like 9 or 10 miles on the roads.  Next week we will just make sure we successfully complete our 12 mile run.

 Photo courtesy of TrailsRoc

Photo courtesy of TrailsRoc

We finished out the day with some water, bagels, prizes (I won a pair of socks!) and a game of cornhole, that I was terrible at!  (Mike and Eric beat us and Sheila carried our team to a close second). 

All in all I would say that our weekend of wine and trails was successful!

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Power of Protein

Last week I heard a "thud" that was immediately followed by Bernie barking his head off and when I went out on our porch I was greeted by a HUGE box.  I alluded to it last week, but this is what was inside said box:

I sent Mike this photo right away because I was so shocked!

Absolutely amazing!  The folks at GNC, with the help of FitFluential, sent me FIVE containers of protein powder to try and review.  Honestly, my jaw dropped when I opened the box.  Four of the powders are GNC brand and one is Vega Sport.

I was really excited to try all of the protein powders because I am not sure I get enough protein through my diet alone.  I only eat chicken and turkey and while we eat other foods that have adequate protein, I'm not always sure if it is enough.  Protein is essential for runners because we need it to perform and to recover, and I'm sure this applies to triathletes as well!

Here are some specifics about each of the different GNC Pro-Performance protein powders:

Whey Protein - This protein powder is fast absorbing and is best when used before and after workouts.  You can also start your day with whey protein to help replenish your muscles.

Casein Protein - Casein protein powder is slow digesting and increases blood amino acids at a slower and steadier rate than other protein sources.  Casein is derived from milk.  This protein powder is best used in between meals and right before bed because of the delayed digestion and absorption of amino acids.

Egg Protein - If you have issues with milk-based products, you should give egg protein a try!  It is naturally free of lactose and is easier to digest for those who have issues with dairy.  This protein is best used before or after workouts.

Soy Protein - Are you vegetarian?  If so, this is the protein powder for you!  This is the only complete plant-based protein powder and it contains all of the essential amino acids including BCAA - leucine, isoleucine and valine.

I was also sent the Vega Sport Performance Protein, here's a brief description:

Vega Protein - This protein powder is a complete multi-source, alkaline forming, plant-based protein blend.  This protein is formulated to improve strength and exercise performance, repair and build muscles and reduce recovery time in between training, which makes it perfect before workouts and throughout the day.

I was truly unaware of how many kinds of protein powders are available, which honestly makes everything a little bit confusing!  I don't really have any dietary restrictions so I don't need to choose the egg, soy or Vega protein powders but they are great options for those with restrictions.

I tried EVERY single kind of protein powder over the last week.  To be honest I mostly had them in the morning for breakfast but I did try the egg and soy protein powders before and after working out, respectively.  I can't say if I noticed a difference after just one time, but I didn't have any GI issues.

I don't like chocolate and I was a little sad when three out of the five powders were chocolate flavored (egg, soy and whey).  Ironically, these are the powders that I like just mixed with water.  I do not like the vanilla protein powders with just water!  Mike tried sips of two of the chocolate protein powders and he liked them too.

Unfortunately, I don't like the Vega Sport Performance protein powder AT ALL.  I tried it plain and I tried it as a smoothie with strawberries and pineapple and I couldn't drink it.  My mom is going to try it when we visit my parents in August because I don't want it to go to waste!

My favorite way to use the protein powders has definitely been to mix them with other ingredients.  You already saw my tropical protein smoothie, but I have come up with a few other ideas since then!

Peanut Butter Cup Shake

1/4 cup oats, 1 cup milk, 1 scoop whey protein (chocolate), 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds

No Bake Chocolate Protein Energy Balls

The same as these, but no vanilla (I was out) and 1 scoop of egg protein (chocolate)

Blueberry Smoothie

 8 oz water, 1 scoop soy protein (chocolate), 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup frozen blueberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

  8 oz water, 1 scoop whey protein (chocolate), 1 cup frozen strawberries

I have felt full after all of these smoothies/shakes and the addition of protein powder to the energy balls is great!  Hopefully I will start to notice an increase in energy during my workouts, but with the extreme heat it is hard to tell right now.

Check out GNC's website, they are definitely the one stop protein shop (and they have lots of other great items and discounts)!  Luckily we have GNC stores in Rochester because I can honestly say that they have a customer for life!

Do you use protein powders?

I was provided these protein powders for the purposes of review.  All of the opinions expressed in this post are, as always, my own.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We Run This Town: North Ponds Park

Before I start this post, check out my interview on Girls Gone Sporty, here

Time for another edition of "We Run This Town"!  This time it is North Ponds Park in Webster, New York. 

One of two ponds

I don't exactly remember how we found this park, I think the first time we went there was during one of our first rides.  The park is conveniently located right off of Route 104 and connects with the Route 104 Trail that runs parallel to the expressway.

Route 104 Trail

We quickly realized that North Ponds Park had a unique feature that we really liked. It is almost exactly one mile around the entire park and has .1 mile marks around the path (I say almost because the "start" and "finish" are located in different spots).  

For this reason, we have gone to North Ponds Park primarily for tempo workouts.  One time we ran around the park's one mile loop six times!  We have also biked around North Ponds Park and then continued on the 104 Trail.  

The other pond

Luckily, there is only one hill and downhill throughout the entire park so it is almost like a track, but better!

We haven't used any of them, but there are different exercise stations throughout the park.  I think that would make an interesting workout!

You can always find animals at North Ponds Park, specifically birds!  The one annoying part is that the geese are usually in the way, I had one hiss at me the last time we ran there!  Ironically, yesterday when I was taking these photos all of the geese were either in the water or far away from the path (good thing since I had Bernie with me). 


Another feature of North Ponds Park is that there are bathrooms located at the start/finish, which is nice since I've had to use them before!

I hope you enjoyed North Ponds Park!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fitness Bucket List

Becoming a FitFluential Ambassador has provided me with some great opportunities to learn and grow as a blogger and as a triathlete.  Recently we were asked to make a fitness bucket list on Pinterest, you can see my full list here, and I immediately started to pin away! (I love Pinterest anyway).

Seeing my one year, two year and lifetime goals all in one place is amazing, and a little scary! 

What's on my list?

Compete in an Ironman (most likely Louisville)

Take on the Nubble Challenge 2 Mile Swim

Bike Around All 11 Finger Lakes

Become a Running Buddy for Girls on the Run

Run an Ultra

Qualify for Boston

Source: via Jamie on Pinterest

That's only a taste of what I would like to (and know I can) accomplish in the years to come.

Do you have a fitness bucket list?  What's on it?