Can’t Hold Me Down

As I mentioned on Friday, the weekend forecast looked like this:

weekend weather 3-28

From the way the forecasters were speaking, the rain would be coming down steady and hard for the majority of the weekend. I had 9 miles scheduled and was getting increasingly anxious as we went through the day on Friday. Once 4p rolled around, there was no rain and temps were hovering around 60F. The JA was leaving later in the evening, but encouraged me to go out while things were dry. I waffled back and forth (of course I wanted to spend time with him before he departed), but eventually made the decision to go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?

long run 3-28

I was surprised at how ‘easy’ it was. (I put easy in quotes because nine miles is not what I think of as an easy distance.) The weather held, a lot of people were outside, and I kept my pace in check. I felt tired after finishing, but with a bit more motivation, it certainly was another confidence boost on the way to my first half marathon!

With my long run out of the way and the rain falling down, Watson and I had a lazy morning on Saturday. Reading, cuddliness, and drinking coffee were just what the doctor ordered to counter the dreariness of the weather outside.

lazy morning

I then met up with my mom. We went to lunch and ran some errands. I was determined to usher spring in with style whether Mother Nature wanted to cooperate or not!

apple salad

Sunday was a busy day. I had a work event in the morning and since I was already on campus, I took advantage of the fitness center and busted through my cross training. 50 minutes on the elliptical went quickly thanks to the iHeartRadio spin cycle station and helped me exceed my goal of 100 miles for March. 105 for the win!

Later that afternoon, it began to snow. Yes, snow. The JA returned safely but we were both exhausted by the end of the night. It would have been nice to have a bit of time to sleep in, but we’re just happy the weather has taken a turn for the better!

How do you make the best of a less than ideal situation?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

 

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Five Things I’m Loving Friday

Hey-o! We made it to Friday! Time to kick back relax and enjoy the weekend.  Or, in my case, fret about how I’m going to fit my long run in when the forecast looks like this:

weekend weather 3-28

Grr.

I’m not going to let that get to me. In an attempt to lighten the mood, let’s talk about some things I’m loving this week:

1. Rimmel London’s Moisture Renew Lipstick in As You Want Victoria.  As I’ve stated before, I’m totally not a lipstick fan. But in an effort to try something new, I opted to receive this from Influenster and wore it all last weekend. Full review with pros and cons to come soon.

Rimmel Lipstick

2. These no bake berry butterscotch protein clusters. There were 25 on Wednesday night. There are 5 left. (Scratch that: 3 left. I had some for breakfast.) I want to make more, but the JA and I cannot be cooped in a house with them all weekend. They would be gone in an instant.

no bake protein clusters 1

3. This article about the traditional work day. My friend Renee shared this on her Facebook page and I immediately read it, shook my head in agreement, and passed it along.

The-Problem-With-the-Traditional-8-Hour-Work-Day

4. My new mug from Marshall’s. Whoo’s happy it’s Friday? This gal.

owl mug

5. Fresh fruit is back! My co-worker brought in fresh strawberries this week and was kind enough to share. They were as every strawberry should be – red, juicy, and sweet but not mushy. Perfection.

strawberries

What are you loving this Friday? 

No Bake Berry Butterscotch Protein Clusters

Even with giving up chocolate for Lent, my sweet tooth has been out of control. My go-to mix is butterscotch chips and walnuts with Craisins occasionally throw in. Satisfies the beast and serves as a great protein boost at the same time.

berry butterscotch mix

I got to thinking and wondered if I could somehow incorporate quinoa in for an extra protein punch, which led me to wonder if I could do a no bake version of my chewy quinoa bars. I found a no bake energy ball recipe on Gimme Some Oven and just winged things from there. While I was disappointed when my creation didn’t ‘ball up’ perfectly, I think the clusters work just fine. (Truth: I ate five between creating them last night and 8 a.m. this morning.)

I didn’t incorporate quinoa into this round, but am hoping to do a white chocolate quinoa version post-Lent. In the meantime, these are still sweet, chewy and delicious.

no bake protein clusters title

No Bake Berry Butterscotch Protein Clusters

Makes 20-25 clusters

Ingredients
1 c. oats
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. Craisins
1/4 c.  butterscotch chips
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. chia seeds

Directions

1. Pour everything into a medium size bowl. Mix well.

2. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoon on to a wax papered baking sheet.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight until clusters can be picked up whole.

4. Store in an airtight container.

What’s your go-to snack when your sweet tooth strikes?

Like this recipe? Check out others on my Recipes page!

strange but good

Spring Forward

Lower body exercises are an important part of any workout, especially for runners. As spring and summer approach, I know I’ll be doing more exercising outdoors. So I wanted to create a workout that will help my running, but would also help the non-runner increase flexibility while strengthening the lower body.

This dynamic, body-weight workout will help achieve those goals through plyometric work. The short bursts of energy will help maximize your workout and leave your lower body ready for a rest day! You can do it in the gym, in the park, in your living room – wherever!

Ten minutes and you’re done. Let’s go!

spring forward rev

If you don’t have a workout timer, you can easily find some free ones as an app on your phone. Or, there’s always the option to simply count out loud. Just remember to have fun with this and enjoy the burn 🙂

Like this routine? Check out others on my Workouts page!

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional, just a gal who likes to vary her exercise routines. Check with your doctor before starting any health or fitness regiment. If any of these moves hurt (in a bad way), stop and consult a professional.

 

 

 

Breathe Deeply and Smile

Hey all – I know you’ve been eagerly anticipating a new recipe or Try It Tuesday post, but today I have a treat for you! As part of the I’m Fit Possible community, I participated in a blog swap. I wrote a post for Lauren about mixing up your routine (check it out here) and she wrote a post for me. Take it away, Lauren!

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Hello I’m Lauren and I blog over at Breathe Deeply and Smile. I’m an avid runner, massive sweet tooth, science nerd, and hippie at heart. My blog is all about my adventures in learning to live a happy, stress-free, and healthy life with lots of running along the way!

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I was super excited to be paired up with Jess for the I’m Fit Possible blog swap today . We met last summer at a blogger meet up and have gone from virtual blogger to real-life friends and even met up to run together this winter. I love her unique blog and have enjoyed following her training for her first half marathon.

I started running around 3 years ago in the summer to help lose some of that college weight and get in shape. I signed up for a local 5K that fall to motivate myself and got bitten by the running bug, running my first half marathon a year later and my first full marathon another year after that. I suppose I dove head first into the sport! This weekend I’ll be running my 7th half marathon too. Since Jess is training for her first half marathon (and doing an awesome job!) I thought I’d talk about some race day tips for first-time half marathoners. Please note that I am NOT a professional or certified running coach or personal trainer-these tips are all from experience!

halfracedaytips

1. Stick to your routine.
Do NOT try any crazy new foods or out of the ordinary carb-loading the night before the race or on race day morning. Stick with what you have been eating (bananas and nut butter for me!) before runs and try to get a good night’s sleep. You need to do what has worked for you on past runs!

bananas

2. Be familiar with the course and the race day logistics ahead of time.
Know the logistics of the starting area and work out any possibly transportation-it’s better to not be stressing out race day morning. Also become familiar with the course map and look at the elevation to point out any miles that are going to be extra tough. Most big races also list at what miles they will be having water, Gatorade, or port-a-potties which is definitely something to look so you know what to expect.

3. Do not wear anything you have not run in before.
I KNOW it is super tempting to wear that witty running shirt you bought at the race expo the day before. DO NOT wear something on race day that you have never run in before. Once I made the mistake of running in a new tank on race day. I had serious chaffing and was irritated the whole race! You will be running 13.1 miles and want to be comfortable. Check the weather and test out any necessary rain or cold-gear you may need on race day!

4. Taper before the race and trust your training.
Most training plans have you tapering for two weeks, but you should at least be taking it easy the week of the race. Only do a couple of runs and don’t cash in that new Groupon for Crossfit or wear yourself out days before the race. All the work and training is done, so just stretch and relax!

5. Do not get caught up in your speed or time-enjoy it!
During the race, do not go out too fast even though the adrenaline will be pumping. Stick to your usual pacing and don’t worry about what your time or is. Enjoy the journey-it’s your first half marathon so you are already guaranteed a personal best!

DCRNRhalf20140315

Follow Lauren all over the interwebs, at Breathe Deeply and Smile or on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter , Bloglovin or Pinterest.

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Great tips, Lauren! Y’all know I’ll take any advice on this subject, so if you have any other tips or tricks you can provide about running a half marathon, type away!

Rise and Conquer

Weekend, where did you go? Come back!

It seems like every weekend, there’s a lot on the agenda. This weekend was no different – we had game night with our neighbors on Friday, I had a long run and a work event on Saturday and then was back at work on Sunday to get ahead of a deadline. Oof.

Late last week, I reached a point in my half marathon training where I was starting to doubt myself. I started thinking that I wasn’t running enough and wouldn’t be able to perform the way I want to on race day. I’ve had people offer to run with me, but get nervous about asking – especially about running distances I have yet to conquer.

I sucked it up my fears and texted my friend Hilary on Friday night. She’s run five half marathons (including the one I’m running in May) and I know she’d give it to me straight whether or not she thought I was in a good place. We planned on seven miles and I mentally prepared myself to just go out there and do my best. We kept a really good pace and chatted about race prep/fueling as well as other randomness. Running with a buddy certainly made the miles fly by! We finished in a little over an hour and she thinks I’m doing enough training-wise to dominate the half in (gulp) a little over a month. WHEW!

JA-HH post run

Saturday night consisted of a work event for me. With the JA and I working at the same school, we often joke that we have working date nights. I’m off doing my thing, he’s off doing his thing, and, if we’re lucky, we eat dinner together. We stayed out pretty late and had a really lazy morning on Sunday before venturing out to another ‘working date.’ One of his students was the lead in a musical and we stopped by to support him before heading back to the office. I have a big deadline today and wanted to get all my ducks in a row before the craziness of the week interfered. Good thing our fitness center was open – cross training complete!

crosstrain 3-23

What’s your best tip to someone looking to conquer a fear?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Springing Into Spring

Even though there is snow in the forecast for next Tuesday (which I am vehemently ignoring in hopes that it will go away), the temperature here in Baltimore is on the upswing. Yesterday after work I drove around with the windows down, music up, sunroof open, and only a light sweater over my shoulders. It was glorious – especially for Watson. (Due to his heart worm, he won’t be able to run around outside much this summer. :()

IMG_3751

Five Things I’m Looking Forward to this Spring

1. Lightweight dresses. Man, oh, man. I miss just being able to pull on a dress and shoes and just go. No tights, no sweaters, no boots. (Ok, maybe boots from time to time.)

JAs K wedding

2. Outdoor dining. Our porch looks much better filled with people than filled with snow.

3. Walks in the park. Since we moved in July, we really didn’t have time to adequately explore our neighborhood and all the things it has to offer. We had a favorite park when living in our townhouse and I’m super excited to find another favorite in our new area.

JA park

4. Concerts. While the JA and I are sticking to a pretty strict budget, there are some free outdoor concert series that Baltimore has to offer (First Thursdays and Frederick Road Fridays, to name a few). I’m planning on making a concerted effort to not be lame and attend a few 🙂

5. Outdoor runs. You didn’t think you could get out of this post without a mention of running, did you? I completed an outdoor run yesterday evening and it was so nice to be out on the streets again. I didn’t stretch enough prior and felt a bit iffy at the end, but overall, I’m highly looking forward to returning to my morning outdoor run routine. (Oh, and because I’m such a proud wife – the JA signed up for his first spring 5K yesterday. He’s been doing awesome about getting to the gym [at 4:30a – oof!] and ran outside twice last week to start prepping for this race. I can’t wait to stand by the finish line and support him the way he’s always there to support me :))

IMG_3756

What are you most looking forward to this spring?