Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Day Before

Today is one day before our first marathon! At this time tomorrow we will already be marathoners, so exciting to think about!

I am not even that nervous, I am just really excited and want to run 26.2 miles already.  Let's get this show on the road!

Mike and I opted to stay at our house tonight since the marathon starts at 8am and it is about an hour and twenty minute drive from our house to the start.  Triathlons have forced us to wake up at 4:45am before so we will be fine!  We also wanted to save a little bit of money and not have to board Bernie for the night.


We did make the drive to Corning, where the race will finish, this morning to pick up our packets and bibs.  The expo was at the Corning Community YMCA and it was typical for a smaller race, even though Wineglass does get a lot of entrants I still think it is on the smaller side.

Map of where runners are from

Runners from Maine! <3

 Not a bad forecast!

We were in and out in about twenty minutes.

After that we headed to the Information Center to pick up our wineglasses and splits of champagne.

 The finish line in Corning

 Where I will become a marathoner (and notice our champagne)

Mike's parents are on the road as I am typing this making their way to come support us tomorrow, which we really appreciate.  Tonight we are just carbo-loading, relaxing and getting ready for the race.

I want to thank you all for your support, encouragement, advice, carbo-loading meals and love during our training! I wish I could thank each of you face to face (and hopefully someday I will) but for now accept my gratitude via the internet.

I especially want to thank my parents because even though they are 10 hours away from us, I know that they support our journey every second of every day.  I can't wait until they are able to see us run a marathon or compete in our Ironman.  I know that they will be thinking of us tomorrow, and I'm sure that I will be thinking of them. 

The next time I post, we will be marathoners!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Getting Close

Not too long now.

We are almost going to be toeing the line at the Wineglass Marathon.

A year and a half ago, I wouldn't have imagined that we would be running a marathon or running period. 

We have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, and yes we may have decided to run a marathon too quickly according to some people but we have put in a lot of hard work and I can't wait to see the outcome!

Mike and I are going to our friends' house tonight for some carbo-loading and we have just a few more miles left before the big day.

Don't worry the first two aren't for me, they're for Mike

I'm just going to keep saying my mantra over and over:

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


Monday, September 24, 2012

PRO Compression Socks Review

Less than a week until our marathon, so guess what that means?

You better believe that I am compressing it up the entire week, and during the marathon.  If you didn't know, I LOVE compression gear! Seriously, if I could wear it to work and have it be alright I probably would.  Oh wait, I already do.

Looks pretty normal..

 Oh look lovely compression socks! (and not sure why my camera flipped perspective!)

I've already told you that Aspaeris Pivot Shorts is a sponsor for the female runners on our Reach the Beach: New Jersey team (that finally has 12 runners, yay!) but I haven't told you that PRO Compression is also our sponsor!

Why should triathletes, runners and endurance athletes use PRO Compression socks?

Your feet and legs are your engine. Anything less than peak performance and full recovery means unnecessary discomfort while operating at less than your best. Change all of that with the advanced design and materials that make PRO Compression socks your ultimate recovery tool.

Beyond traditional high compression, be sure to check out our specialized running sock. The innovative design, lightweight construction and stabilizing zone make it one of the most comfortable, yet effective, running socks available. (Taken directly from the PRO Compression website)

Mike and I already owned one pair of PRO Compression socks each, I saw a sale on Schwaggle and took advantage of it.

 A photo I never showed you from Skunk Cabbage

PRO Compression was so generous that they provided each runner on our team two pairs of socks to use during training and the relay.  I decided on neon yellow, good for night runs, and black, good for disguising as appropriate work attire.  Mike already owned a pair of neon green so he went with black and red.

Now on to the good stuff, the pros and cons of these bad boys!

Pros:
  • They come in a lot of fun colors, so you can match them to your outfit (obviously important to me, see the above photo). 
  • If you join their mailing list you will receive emails about a "Sock of the Month" that is offered at a discount price. 
  • PRO Compression socks feel great during training runs and after.  I wear them for training and recovery and I have been known to wear them two days in a row! Not ashamed one bit. 
  • Their price is on par with other compression socks available and with the occasional discount you can get them for cheaper than other brands.  

Cons:
  • Figuring out the right size can be tricky.  Mike and I both went down a size when we received our socks for Reach the Beach as compared to when we bought them on our own (although Mike did one in LXL and one in SM and wishes he did both in SM).  
  • We went down a size because of the compression but also because the socks go above your knees! We still have to fold them over a little bit at the top, but not as much as with the larger sizes. 

All in all, I love these socks and I am really happy that PRO Compression is one of our sponsors for Reach the Beach!

Do you love compression socks?

PRO Compression is a sponsor of our Reach the Beach: New Jersey relay team and they provided each of us with two pairs of socks to wear.  I was not compensated for this review and all opinions, as always, are my own. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Volunteering at the Rochester Marathon

What is a great way to get yourself pumped up for your own marathon (in a week!!)?

Volunteer for a marathon the weekend before!

Right after our amazing experience volunteering at the Sehgahunda Marathon, Mike and I were excited to volunteer for another race.  It is such a great feeling giving back to the community and sport that gives so much to us.  With all the racing that we do, we probably encounter thousands of volunteers, it is nice to be on the other side every once in awhile.

We had already signed up to volunteer for the Rochester Marathon prior to Sehgahunda.  We will also be volunteering at the Great Lakes 100 Mile Triathlon in two weeks.  

Today was the Rochester Marathon and we were assigned to work the water stop at mile 17. 

After getting to our designated water stop at 8am we started to help set up as the other volunteers trickled in. 

 Putting on the volunteer shirt

Mixing some Gatorade, it was cold out!

Our Gatorade and water all ready for the runners!

Since we were over halfway into the race, we didn't get anyone for awhile.  Eventually, really he was going extremely fast, the first runner showed up!

 Lead runner at mile 17

One nice thing about volunteering for a race but also being a runner is that we knew some people running the race.  We were able to cheer on some people that we know in real life and from online through websites such as DailyMile.

 Me!

Everyone was so appreciative of the fact that we were out there volunteering and it really meant a lot when they would say, "thank you".  I am the kind of runner that is always "in the zone" and doesn't really acknowledge people, but I am going to try next weekend!

Gatorade!

 Everyone working hard

There was one lady who didn't appreciate what we were doing, though.  The Rochester Marathon course goes along the Erie Canal path and the course is open to the public.  There were other runners, walkers and cyclists out while the race was going on.  One woman who was out walking stopped by our table and yelled at us because we hadn't picked up the cups along the course yet. 

We didn't think much of it, since none of the cups were in the runners' way and we were going to pick them up later, but she came back 20 minutes later and yelled at us again! She had used energy gel packets in her hand and chastised us because it was a "windy day" and it was "bad for the environment". 

We pretty much ignored her and said that at that moment our focus was on the runners' needs and that we would get the trash later (even though we weren't responsible for areas other than immediately around our water stop).  She didn't really like how we were handling her requests and basically told us that we should be like Wegmans (local grocery store) employees and do what the customer wants.  She was nuts! (In the end when we picked up the trash there was only ONE energy gel packet on the side of the path). 

Other than that little fiasco, this morning was a lot of fun and we are really excited to volunteer again in two weeks!

Are you going to try to volunteer for a race before the end of the year?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tips for Your First Marathon - Part 2

Edited to add: I am SO sorry to anyone who already commented prior to Leah's comment.  IntenseDebate the last two days was not working properly and I lost a lot of comments.  I have removed the widget from my blog and went back to the Blogger commenting system.  Hopefully this fixes the problem!

Yesterday I gave you tips to get to the start line of your first marathon.  Today's tips will help you during and after running 26.2 miles.

Enjoy!


Let's Talk About Pace 

Start slow. Adrenaline or others may push you. Start your race slow. You have 26.2 miles to prove yourself to yourself. - Erica from Life as a Running Mom - 2 marathons

As hard as it may feel, make sure your first mile in the marathon is your SLOWEST! If it is a big race, it's easier to accomplish this (due to crowds) but you'll definitely thank yourself later - you have 25.2 miles to kick it into gear, so just relax and soak in your big moment! - Krissy from Shiawase Life - 3 marathons, training for her 4th and 5th

Respect the distance. Stick to your planned pace, even if you're feeling strong early on. 26 miles is a long, long way! If you still want to increase your pace later in the race, the second half is a smarter time to speed up than the first (negative splits). - Laura from Mommy Run Fast - 1 marathon

Start slow, especially if you have a downhill start. It's a long way to 26.2!! - Eric from Roc the Run - 1 marathon

Don't go out too fast. If you are feeling good at mile 20, pick up the pace, otherwise stick to your plan. - Kim from Gluten-Free is Life - 1 marathon, 8 half marathons

Mental Game

Remember that you are stronger than you think you are, you will need the mental toughness the last few miles. - Tina - 15 marathons and 1 ultra marathon

Pick a motto or phrase that you can repeat to yourself when things get tough. - Danielle from Ooh Breathe, Just Breathe - 6 marathons, training for her 7th

Think of how far you've come, not how far you have to go. If you need to break up the race into smaller pieces for mental sanity, do it. - Jenny from The Little JBird - 6 marathons and 2 ultra marathons

The marathon is a mental mind f**k, think positive. It's all worth it in the end. - Danielle (sorry everyone I had to include that since she tells it like it is!)

How are you Going to Feel?

Expect it to be hard. It's 26.2 miles, it should be hard! - Eric

Always remember that there will be highs and lows. When you're in a low, slow down and ride it out. You will come out of it and feel better. -  Amanda from Miss Zippy - 10 marathons, 1 Ironman, running coach

Find a way to make the hard feel awesome, I think about how lucky I am that I CAN run a marathon. - Eric

If you are running a marathon, you should hopefully enjoy running, so enjoy running the marathon. It is just another run.  Don't let it become something that stresses you out. - Isaac - 3 marathons, training for his 4th

Since this is a list of things for your FIRST marathon, there will come a point in the race when your body has never gone the distance you are at. You will know exactly when you are there. Trust in your training and remember this moment until you step foot over that finish line.  There is not another feeling like this in running, and it's amazing. I wish I could re-live the last 6.2 miles of my first marathon every day. - Danielle

Emotions - they will run high (and low). Jess and I proclaimed our love to each other several times. It was beautiful. - Jen from Running with the Girls - 1 marathon, training for her 2nd

The last 6.2 miles are brutal! Our training runs only took us up to 20 miles. Sure enough at 20.1, perhaps it was all mental, my calves tightened up. We stopped and stretched a bit, which helped. - Jen

Those little kids on the side of the road whose parents made them come out and cheer and they really have no idea what's going on? They have TONS of energy, if they're cheering and holding out their hands wanting you to slap them five running by, don't pass on the opportunity. It will transfer their energy to you or at least make you smile. - Danielle

Other Tips

Support. Not all marathons are support friendly, but if you are lucky enough to have a support crew meet you at several spots along the course, this is ideal! I had Ward and Stacy stagger their stops meeting me with fuel, water bottles and gum! If not, figure out something that will work to carry your fuel. Ward actually made several small pockets and pinned them to the inside of his shorts for Boston. (Remember - he ran Boston in only little short shorts!) - Jen

Your first is a guaranteed PR! Enjoy it, each step of it, and embrace the opportunity to reap the benefits of all of your hard training. - Erica

Thank the crowd and volunteers when you can, it always makes me feel awesome to thank others! - Eric

A tip someone gave me before my first. Carry a few peanut butter crackers in your belt. At mile 20 they will be welcomed. I finished my first marathon in 6:52:47 and she was right. They were the most amazing crackers I have ever eaten. And if you are slow carry your own water in case they run out. - Kim from TriandTrue - 1 marathon, 1 Goofy Challenge, 13 half marathons

Take time to actually ENJOY the race. Don't get so focused that you can't "see" what's around you. Take in sights, sounds, smells. Really try to experience it because it's your FIRST marathon - it only happens once! - Jenny

Also take time to thank the people in your life who have supported you. This means the ones at the race with you but even the ones that have supported you from afar. It means a lot to your support crew when you recognize them. Odds are they may have given up something to allow you to train and race. - Jenny 

Running buddy. Having a running buddy to get me through my first marathon was fantastic! I will always be appreciative of Jess. We had a pact to stick together until mile 24. Then if we had anything "left over" the other could sprint ahead. Ha! That was funny - we were both dead tired and crossed the finish line holding hands. - Jen

After the Marathon

If you are traveling try to take a lot of stop breaks during the drive to stretch your legs. I made that mistake and drove 7 hours right after a marathon, lesson learned. - Tina

Have something ready to celebrate with - a special bottle of bubbly (or whatever) chilling in the fridge isn't as healthy as chocolate milk (which should be chilling in the fridge too) but it sure adds to the celebration of a run well done! - Tanya from Running in Boise - 1 marathon and 4 half marathons

Weigh yourself before the race and shortly after, the amount of weight you are down is water weight. Hydrate until you are back to the initial weight. - Danielle

Don't run your first marathon and then promptly drink beer all afternoon instead of water and attend a Kelly Clarkson concert. This is not recommended. - Danielle

And the number one tip from everyone?

HAVE FUN!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tips for Your First Marathon - Part 1

First, let me just say happy anniversary to Mike! You are all probably a little bit confused since we just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, but today is the date of our dating anniversary.  We have been together for 8 years today! This day is also special because Mike proposed to me on our five year anniversary.

Now on to the point of this post.

Mike and I are running our first marathon in TEN days! Crazy! I thought I would ask around for some tips for running your first marathon and there are some really good ones.  I hope that this post helps anyone else out there that will be running their first marathon sometime soon.

I had such a huge response that I am going to break up the tips into two parts. First up are tips that will help you get to the start line of your first marathon.

Enjoy!


Training

Don't run yourself into the ground. While it's important to put miles in, you should never overdo it. Make sure you take rest days (from running too!)

Don't just run. Running is important but so is cross training. The stronger your body, the better you'll feel on the big day. Make sure you are also getting in some good strength training, yoga and whatever else you can to change it up and allow your body to process the exercise. 

Eat right but don't beat yourself up. Enjoy life. Enjoy food. Try to eat healthy most of the time. 

Smile. Enjoy your run. Go out with a positive attitude. If you're not having fun, what's the point?

Change up your routine. If you've been running your long runs on flat surface, do a mid-mileage run the next time with hills or even stairs. If all your shorter runs are just flat and steady, incorporate some sprint interval workouts into your next run. 

All above tips from Jamie, Fit Approach Co-Founder and President - 2 half marathons, 12 marathons and 16 ultra marathons

Leading up to the Marathon

I limit my dairy the whole week before the marathon. - Tina -15 marathons and 1 ultra marathon

HYDRATE the whole week before a marathon. - Tina

Get plenty of rest/hydration/nutrition the week before the race.  Because nerves are going to keep you awake or from eating normally the day of. - Tanya from Running in Boise - 1 marathon and 4 half marathons

Drive the route ahead of time to get a feel for the course. - Isaac - 3 marathons, training for his 4th

Trust your training and embrace your taper.  This can be hard (as I am experiencing the taper for my second marathon right now) but it is worth it. Eat well, hydrate well, and get some extra sleep. - Erica from Life as a Running Mom - 2 marathons

Practice positive visualizations. See yourself succeeding. Know your mantras. Talk positive to yourself now and on race day. - Erica

Set as many alarms as you can.   You probably won't sleep anyway but it's better to know you won't miss your wake up call. - Danielle from Ooh Breathe, Just Breathe - 6 marathons, training for her 7th

Race Day Gear

Never wear anything new for the marathon. - Tina

I'm running my first half in October, but what I've heard a lot is don't wear the finisher shirt before you finish the race, it is supposedly bad luck. - Kelly from Cupcake Kelly's

My advice would be to make sure your clothes and shoes are your go-tos - don't wear anything new on marathon day! Same goes for energy gels and Gatorade. - Katy from Fit in Heels - 4 half marathons

Try out your clothes on long training runs. I luckily did not have any chaffage with marathon #1. - Jen from Running with the Girls - 1 marathon, training for her 2nd

Don't try something new on race day that you have never done before. Practice your night before meals/breakfast food on a few runs. Test different drinks and forms of fuel early in your training. Try out socks, shorts, top, bra, shoes, hair ties, headbands, EVERYTHING. If something annoys you on a run, don't use it. 26.2 miles is a long way to be annoyed with something. - Danielle

Nutrition/Hydration

Do NOT eat or drink anything different. DO NOT be tempted by goodies pre-race if you don't usually eat or drink at this time. Trust your game plan and do not deviate due to peer pressure from others. - Erica

Don't try anything during the race that you haven't ok'ed with your body during training runs. - Tina

Other Race Day Tips

Be ready for any weather. You never know what it will be. I trained in beautiful weather and race day was torrential downpours. - Jen

Invest in BodyGlide and put it everywhere. - Danielle

Stretch. - Danielle

You can't do anything about the weather. If the weather report says sunny and 65 and you wake up and it is pouring down rain and 40mph head winds, you're still going to do it. - Danielle

Get to the race with plenty of time to spare so you can use the bathroom, find your corral, know where to meet family after the finish, etc. - Jenny from The Little JBird - 6 marathons and 2 ultra marathons

Trust in your training! You are ready for this! You've put in the time and are READY! Believe in yourself. - Jenny

Right Before the Gun Goes Off

Be prepared for any number of emotions at the start. - Jenny

Be on the lookout for Part 2 tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Virtual Book Club

On a day like today, where I am home sick (don't even get me started about how we are almost a week and a half away from our first marathon) and it is raining (well it was when I started writing this post this morning) all I want to do is read a book.  Too bad I left the one I am currently reading at work!

The other day I randomly thought, "I want to join a book club".  I don't have time to meet up with one though so the idea of starting a virtual book club came to mind.  Emily suggested an inspirational running book themed club and I was sold (of course I need to add inspirational triathlon books to the mix). 



This is going to be extremely informal, but here are the details:

When

The "discussion" portion of the book club will take place the middle of the month, for those who sign up I can send out emails with the specific date.  The first book that we read will be discussed on October 15th (which will postpone some Reach the Beach recaps but that's alright).

The following month's book will be announced around the first of the month.  For example, November's book will be announced on October 1st (or around that date).  That should give you plenty of time to buy the book and read it before the middle of the month. 

Where

Online of course!


Why

We all like reading and running/triathlons, so why not read books on those topics?  It's also fun to read about other people's perspectives about the same book.  You might learn something new!


How 

Since this will be informal, you can write your own review of the book on your blog and then email it to me before the date that we will be discussing the book.  I will include your review in my blog post about the book.  If you don't have a blog don't worry, there will be discussion questions that you can answer at the end of the blog post!

Want to sign up?  Fill out this form so that you will be included on the email list. 

For October, our first month, I thought that the book could be "Mile Markers" by Kristin Armstrong (sorry to any guys that join!)

Make sure you put a book suggestion down on the form (try to focus on running and triathlon themed books but if there is a really inspirational book that is from some other discipline put it down and it will be considered).  I will pick the following months' books based on your suggestions!

Go ahead, sign up!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Loungin' Sunday Links

Happy Sunday everyone!

Before I start my post I just want to say happy birthday to my mom! She ran 10 miles, had blueberry pancakes and went on a hike today, sounds like the perfect birthday to me!


I thought I would do something a little bit different today and share some links out there in the blogosphere that you may have missed.  I know that Mike and I love to lounge around (with the exception of our long runs) on Sundays so that is the perfect time to catch up on some blogs.  And you never know, you might find your new favorite blog because of this post!

I just saw this post the other day, even though it is from August, and I have to share it.  Jess wrote a great post about why training for a triathlon with your spouse is good for your marriage.  I obviously agree with this and there may or may not be a quote from yours truly in the post. 

Tara ran her second marathon this weekend and if that wasn't enough it was part of something called the Tartan Twosome.  Not only did she run the marathon but she ran a 5K the day before, if that isn't #fitfluential then I don't know what is!

One of my amazing Reach the Beach teammates, Stephanie, wrote a great review of Aspaeris pivot shorts (one of our sponsors).  She is hilarious if I do say so myself! 

Have you ever done an obstacle course race? Crystal did and she looked like she had a blast! I'm also sharing this because my RTB female teammates need to see her outfit, we need those!

Eric is trying to decide what to do (personally I think he should do the 50K but that's me) and needs your help! What would you do, 50K or Stage race?

As a new GirlsGoneSporty Ambassador I had to share this recent post about how to stay healthy in college.  This post focuses on off-campus options!

And last, but not least, Jess is doing her Cupcake Classic virtual race again.  Sign up for this free 5K race!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, I know we are!

Friday, September 14, 2012

My First Vlog

Yep, it is true, I did a vlog.  It probably isn't the best but hopefully I will actually keep up with it (if you like them of course).  If I do it weekly, it will probably be on Fridays since I have more time in the morning before work.  Get used to seeing me in grey, black and dark blue since that is what I wear to work all the time.

So here it is. I hope you enjoy it!



Now I would like to know, what do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your fitness journey?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Finished C25K, What's Next?

Mike and I started running using the popular Couch-to-5K running program, it's hard to believe we will be running our first marathon soon!  If you are even considering starting to run, I would highly suggest using this program.  It helps you ease into running and you have a better chance of actually sticking with it compared to if you just go out and run 3 miles for the first time ever (although that does work for some people).   

I know that many people finish C25K, as it is called, and think, "well what now?" Maybe you ran that 5K, or not, and aren't sure what to do.  Well, I'm here to help you!


Repeat the Couch-to-5K Program

Now before you stop reading this post because you think I am crazy, hear me out.  Mike and I were lucky and we were able to complete all of our C25K workouts without having to repeat any of them, except one time when we tried to do a trail run and failed miserably.  Some people have to repeat a few of the workouts multiple times before moving on and may not feel confident in their abilities when they finish C25K.

Go back, maybe not all the way to the beginning, and keep working at it until you feel comfortable with running for half an hour straight.

Even if you did successfully complete C25K and "graduated" by running that 5K, I'm still going to suggest that you go back and repeat some of the workouts.  However, this time instead of walking and jogging try jogging and running.  Use the workouts to help you build up speed and be able to run that next 5K even faster!

Train for a Longer Distance

You ran that 5K and you are hooked!  Maybe you even ran a few more 5Ks after C25K and while you enjoyed them, you want something more.

There are other programs out there that are similar to C25K that will help you build up your endurance to be able to run a 10K or even a half marathon.  I wouldn't suggest that you try to run anything further than a half marathon immediately after completing C25K.

If you want to run a 10K, there is a program called Bridge-to-10K.  Mike and I used this to help us run our first 10K after completing C25K.  If you feel like you need a little bit more time there is also an Ease into 10K program.  These programs are similar to C25K because walking is still incorporated into the workouts.

If you are like me, then you will have your sights set on the half marathon distance.  There are numerous training programs out there that will help you train at the appropriate pace to help you get to the finish line of your first 13.1.  Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon training program helped us run our first half. Some other options are Runner's World SmartCoach and Jeff Galloway's training program.

It is important to remember that you shouldn't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%, you don't want to get injured!

Try Some Fun Distances

While you are figuring out if you like the longer distances, run some 5 mile races, 10 mile races and 15Ks.  You can always find fun and unique race distances and races can be a nice addition to your training plan.  Your local turkey trot may even be the 4 mile distance, just go out there and have some fun!

Want More than Running?

Maybe you were like us, you love running but you always knew that you wanted something more.  Consider trying a triathlon or a duathlon, multi-sport racing is amazing! 

Some resources to help you get started are Beginner Triathlete and USA Triathlon.  If you are looking for a free training program for a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, you can check out Tri-Newbies Online

Do Something Else

I am the type of person that wholeheartedly believes that almost anyone can run, however, I know that not everyone loves or even likes running.   You may have started the C25K program to get into shape or to prove to yourself that you could stick with something for 9 weeks, but your heart isn't into it anymore.

That's fine!  Just find something that you do LOVE and stick with it.  There are so many options for people who want to live an active lifestyle, whether that be swimming, mountain biking, crossfit, yoga or weight lifting.  There is something out there for everyone, you just have to find it!

You never know, you may want to take a break from running right now but there might also come a day when you want to return to it.  Running will always be there for you when you are ready!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIAW: Pumpkin Mookies Recipe

Unrelated to this post: our Reach the Beach: New Jersey relay team has been hit with numerous injuries and we are still looking for ONE more teammate.  The relay is October 12-13, if you are interested please email me at fromcouchtoironwoman@gmail.com, thanks!

Oh, you thought I was done with pumpkins?  Well, you were wrong!

The main reason I asked for recipes was to help make me try new recipes again (for those of you who are new here, one of my goals this year was to try 52 new recipes).

I can say that I successfully tried a new recipe last night!  I looked through the list of recipes on my post, which by the way I am BLOWN AWAY at how successful and popular that post is, and I decided on one of the easier recipes.  Erin's Pumpkin Mookies.  I didn't modify it very much, I just used chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips.  If you want to make it healthier you could leave the chocolate out completely.   



1 box of spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chunks
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Seriously this couldn't be any easier!  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and spoon the batter onto greased baking sheets.  Erin is much more skilled than I am at making the exact amount! There are supposed to be 24 mookies (muffin/cookie if you were wondering) but I ended up with less than that, oops!



Place the cookies in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.  That simple.


These tasted great and the entire house smelled like fall, I'm a big fan!

And for the first time in my life, I am linking up with Peas and Crayons' "What I Ate Wednesday".


What are some good habits you are trying to fall into this year? I'm still working on drinking more water!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On This Day

On this day, our political, religious and social affiliations do not matter. 

On this day, we are all Americans.

On this day, 11 years ago all of our lives changed.  Some in more ways than others.

On this day, innocent people lost their lives.  


On this day we never forget.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins

Edited to add: I actually got two more recipe submissions, and who is going to turn down a pumpkin recipe?  Well, obviously not me!  So enjoy the 36 recipes, not 34.  
 
I LOVE food and drinks that have pumpkin in it or that are pumpkin flavored.  Luckily, even though we aren't technically in the fall season yet, restaurants have started to sell their fall items! (I'm especially fond of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and iced pumpkin coffee).


I decided to ask around for some pumpkin recipes and I received a lot of great ones!  Thank you to my FitFluential and Sweat Pink ladies for submitting them!  Hopefully this will help me try a new recipe sometime soon.

Enjoy!

Breakfast

Pumpkin Granola from Running with the Girls

Flourless Pumpkin Banana Pancakes from Chocolate Covered Diamonds

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats from Savvy Sassy Me

Lunch/Dinner

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese (for kids) from The Healthy Hostess

Comforting Pumpkin Quinoa (Vegan) from Fannetastic Food

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili from Running Rachel

Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Soup (Vegan) from Healthy Life Happy Wife 

Muffins 

Pumpkin Muffins from Life After Swimming

Low-Fat Pumpkin Chip Muffins from Average Moms Wear Capes

Pumpkin Microwave Muffin from She Rocks Fitness

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins from Fannetastic Food

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins from Running with Sass

Gluten-Free and No Sugar Added Pumpkin Muffins from A Healthier, Fitter Me

Mighty Chocolate Microwave Muffin from Stuft Mama

Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread from The Healthy Hostess

Fresh Cranberry and Walnut Pumpkin Bread from Fannetastic Food

Gluten-Free Zucchini Pumpkin Bread from Healthy Heddleston 

Cookies/Bars

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Run, Cupcake, Run

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares from Chocolate and Wild Air

Pumpkin and Oat Protein Bars from Fitknitchick

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from ROJ Running

Pumpkin Protein Bars from Crazy Healthy Fit

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares from Mom Running on Empty

Chocolate Almond Pumpkin Cookies from Crazy Healthy Fit

Pumpkin Mookies from Girl Gone Veggie

Other Desserts

Pumpkin Spice Churro Bites from Ari's Menu

Pumpkin Cake Balls from The Healthy Hostess

2 Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from Fannetastic Food

Pumpkin Cake from Such a Funny Fat

Coconut Flour Pumpkin Protein Brownies (soy, dairy, grain free) from ExSoyCise

Miscellaneous

Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Soup and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from Life as a Running Mom

Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Annie's Eats (submitted by Jenny)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie from Your Trainer Paige

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte from Savvy Sassy Me

All images are the property of the respective blogger. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fitness Friday: Changing My Schedule

I'm linking up with Jill's Fitness Friday this week!


This week I went back to work after one month off (really I only work one month the entire summer but I worked July).  My schedule is, shall we say, less than desirable, I typically prefer to work 8-4 or 9-5, but this quarter I am working 10-6 most days with 4 hours of interpreting at the end of my shift.  Not fun.

On Monday Mike and I were going to run 8 miles but that didn't really happen.  I was only able to do 2 miles. 

 The #proof, or lack thereof

I decided that even though I prefer to run in the evening that I am going to have to change my schedule a little bit in order to complete my training runs.  With our marathon less than a month away I really don't want to start skipping/cutting runs short so I decided that I will run in the morning twice a week and run in the evening with Mike once a week. 

I really don't like to run at different times than Mike for two reasons: we train together and safety.  However, I am not running at the wee hours of the morning so it is mostly light out. 

My runs the rest of the week went SO much better.  I ran Wednesday morning and other than my watch being funky the first mile ran at about 9 minute pace the entire time.  Yesterday, Mike and I did our marathon pace run (he ran ahead of me but I could see him most of the time) but I ran it about 30 seconds faster at about 9:15 pace overall.

This morning I ran, my third run in a row and my second run in about 12 hours, and it was my fastest run of the week!  9:01 pace overall and I even hit 8:40 pace the fourth mile.  I think that this new schedule is going to work for me.

I wore my viewsport tank this morning

Obviously, I still prefer to run in the evening and hopefully my schedule next quarter will allow me to do so.  If not at least I know I can change things up in order to get my runs in!

Have you ever changed when you run in order to complete your runs?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Color Pink

I was not very girly growing up and at a certain age I tried to avoid most things pink. 

Now I am still not very girly, however, pink has made its way into my life a little bit more. Until recently my laptop was pink, I just got a new one a few weeks ago so now it is black, and a lot of my running clothes are pink.



I think the fact that as a sign language interpreter I wear black, dark blue, grey, etc. on a daily basis makes me want my workout gear to be extra bright and flashy!

And now I have another reason to love pink even more!


I am a new Sweat Pink Ambassador! The lovely ladies at Fit Approach emailed me the great news yesterday.  I am looking forward to connecting with more of the other SPAs and sweating pink!

Is there a color that you used to dislike, but now you like it?

Monday, September 3, 2012

One Year Blogiversary

Last year on this day I decided that I wanted to start a blog to keep track of our journey into the world of running and triathlons, and what a year it has been!

I'm just going to follow the lovely Ali's one year blogiversary post and pick some of the highlights from each month, since I'm sure that none of you were reading this blog when I first started it (except for Mike, my mom and Mike's mom)! 

September 2011


The first post I wrote was on September 3, 2011.  I definitely have changed my blogging style a little bit and have figured out what kind of blogger I want to be!

October 2011


Mike and I ran our first half marathon ever and even though it wasn't my first race recap, I was really proud of this one! 

November 2011


I was injured immediately after the Fall Foliage half marathon, but I tried to run in the Stockade-athon 15K anyway.  Some of you know that lead me to my first, and only, DNF


November 20th was Bernie's first birthday!

December 2011


I ran in a few virtual races, including one around Christmas with my mom and Mike. 

January 2012


Mike and I were dealing with our first year of running in the winter, luckily it was very tame, and we ran in the Freezeroo Series.  We even ran our first race with snow on the ground


I also met my first blogger friend in real life!

February 2012


Mike wrote a guest post for the blog and shared lots and lots of information about himself!

March 2012


It was my birthday and I held my first ever virtual race (that's my mom in the photo).  


I ran in my first international race!

April 2012


Finished my third race in three weekends and met another amazing blogger!

I became a FitFluential Ambassador.


Mike and I ran in another relay, this time all day and it. was. amazing.

May 2012


I ran my PR 5K race, 25:53. 


We competed in our first duathlon!

June 2012


We officially became triathletes!


I wrote my most popular post, a tropical protein smoothie recipe

July 2012


I started my "Wedding Memories" series and Mike and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.


We went on our first runcation and ran in the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half marathon.   

August 2012


Our vacation to Maine was amazing and we stayed active the entire time!

We ran our 19 miler, our current PDR, for our marathon training and I shared my thoughts with you. 

September 2012


Mike and I became two-time triathletes after completing another sprint triathlon

That's the gist of this blog's first year of life!  I hope you go back and read some of the posts that you might (most likely) have missed.

How many years have you been blogging?