Recipe: Greek Yogurt Devil’s Food Cake

I hope you had a happy Easter! My Easter was pretty laid back–M came home from work about 8 am and slept. I tried to sleep in, but couldn’t, so I had a relaxed morning with the pups before heading out to run a quick errand for dinner. I also met Nicole to walk our dogs and shake out our legs after our half marathon on Saturday.

I missed my family’s Easter brunch. They usually do the same brunch as what we have for Christmas brunch: ham, scrambled eggs, mom’s sticky roll, fruit, etc. So because I’ve been missing my family gathering, I decided to have some friends over for Easter brunch, only for dinner. I decided to do a small ham, with mandarin orange fluff, and Merinda brought scalloped potatoes. Not the most balanced, but not bad for the first “friends’ Easter.” I also made a devil’s food cake to celebrate Easter, the end of my chocolate sabbatical, and an early birthday cake for M. It was a simple, healthy recipe that I’d love to share with you:

Greek Yogurt Devil’s Food Cake

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 6 ox container of Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F and prepare baking dish (I used a small rectangle glass dish).
  2. Combine the three ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour into baking dish.
  3. Bake according to instructions on the mix box, until a toothpick comes out clean. (I baked my cake for 25 minutes.)
I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we ate half of it. Also, note to self: chocolate cake looks better on a colored plate.

I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we ate half of it. Also, note to self: chocolate cake looks better on a colored plate.

I wanted to keep this low in sugar/calories/etc., so I didn’t buy any frosting, but I did buy Peeps to decorate the cake. I had this idea that the Peeps would set into the cake and I could dust it with powdered sugar. Well, we ended up not having any powdered sugar, and the Peeps didn’t sink into the cake. So I sprinkled some yellow sugar crystals for a little more decoration.

The cake was delicious–almost like a cake-like brownie. Everyone liked it, so that was a plus.

Oh yeah, and M and I gave each other Easter baskets–it’s a tradition I started with him a year or so ago. I try to make it not all about the candy, but he is always about the candy. However, this year we both got each other Cincinnati Reds shirts. (We’re going to Opening Day in Cincy.)

Here is a sample of our goodies:

M's basket included some protein bars, sunflower seeds, Reese Eggs, and some back pain patches for work. My basket included Starburst jelly beans, Reese Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs,  and Peeps.

M’s basket included some protein bars, sunflower seeds, Reese Eggs, and some back pain patches for work. My basket included Starburst jelly beans, Reese Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Peeps.

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Race Recap: Run The Bluegrass (aka 13.1 Miles of Hellacious Hills!)

Now that I think I’ve recovered from my second half marathon yesterday (minus the still-sore quads and knee, my legs are just a little tired), it’s time to recap the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon!

Saturday dawned early and foggy! It was crazy foggy out–one you got out of town a little more, it was hard to see. Case in point:

The sun was trying to rise and burn off all the fog before the race.

The sun was trying to rise and burn off all the fog before the race.

I got out to Keeneland Race Course around 8 am. I was supposed to meet up the LexRunLadies for a group pic and meet three Sweet Pink Ambassador sisters around 8:20. There were already tons of runners there (the race started at 9), and I actually met up with an old friend from college whom I hadn’t seen in four years. Unfortunately, I missed the group photo and missed meeting Dawn, Kimberly, and Michelle. Totally bummed!

But I did meet up with Nicole–she was starting in the same wave as me, so we found the corral and warmed up together and waited…and waited… They ended up pushing the start back 15 minutes because of the fog. M ended up working a little overtime (he was supposed to be off at 8, but stayed to help with parking since I was running), so he texted me to tell me about the traffic (which was crazy thanks to construction) and that it was purposely starting late.

Taken right before I shed off my fleece at gear check--the morning dawned a chilly 38*.

Taken right before I shed off my fleece at gear check–the morning dawned a chilly 38*.

Finally, it was time for the race to start! They had Hal Higdon there, who was running in the 7-mile Rookie Race (he’s far from a rookie, though), and he helped start the race. So that was pretty cool. It was a constant sea of runners ahead and behind me–this race grew from 2,000 runners last year to 4,000 +/- this year (which includes the Rookie Race, Half Marathon, and then they had a 1-mile kids run a little later).

Banner

A constant sea of runners!

A constant sea of runners!

I knew the course was extremely hilly, so I had plans to try to stay around a 9:45-10 min mile throughout the race. The first part is getting out of Keeneland, which is a slow incline to help wake up the legs. Then you start along the rolling hills that is Kentucky Horse Country.

Mile 1 – 9:48
Mile 2 – 9:27
Mile 3 – 9:27
Mile 4 – 10:12 (<–first decently big hill)

I had spent the first part just trying to get into a rhythm and finding the right stride. The roads are narrow along the course, but there wasn’t too much crowding, which was surprising. There were only a few times I felt trapped amongst runners, but I was able to get around them and relax. I didn’t really get to see many people that I knew along the race, though, which was a bummer, but that’s OK.

I told myself I would get a drink around Mile 5 (I had some PoweradeZero before and some water). I really needed to find my second-wind already around Mile 6, and thankfully there was an awesome band at the half-way point rocking some old school. I started having a spring in my step and was waving my hands along with the band. Perfect timing, because then I was doing alright for the next couple of miles.

Mile 5 – 9:56
Mile 6 – 9:48
Mile 7 – 10:07 (<–water stop where I walked to drink and catch my breath)
Mile 8 – 9:49

I didn’t feel like the hills were too unmanageable, which I have to thank all the different routes the John’s Striders group had taken me on for training. That is until Mile 9 and the infamous S-curve hill around Elkchester/Frankfort Pike. OMG This hill SUCKED! You had a steep incline, then it started to curve to the right, flatten out for a short bit, then another steep incline and curve to the left. I don’t know how long this hill was, but it was horrid! There were so many runners walking the entire hill. I told myself to push it to the flattened part and I could walk, and I did. I walked until the incline started to get steep, then I slowly made my way to a run to climb the rest of the incline (I feel like I do better running steep hills than walking–walking seems to take more power to me). After that, I allowed myself to walk a little longer to catch my breath and give myself a pep talk.

At this point it’s all mental. Prior to the start of the race I had put one headphone on, but I waited until I absolutely needed music to turn on Pandora (yes, I still use Pandora, and I love the Ying Yang Twins station when I’m running–those songs are great to push you through a long run, trust m!). I think I turned my music on before the S-curve, but I can’t recall now.

I got into a weird zone for the last part of the race. I don’t know if it was because of the sun, or just exhaustion. I had been popping my Gu Chomps every once in a while, as long as I knew there was a water station coming. I didn’t notice much around me, until we made the turn back towards Keeneland where I could see the water tower (wish I had taken a picture). After mile 10, I kept telling myself it was a 5K–I can run a 5K easily. I could do this. I was hot and sweaty, but I just wanted to finish.

Mile 9 – 9:50
Mile 10 – 10:38 (<–not bad for the hill of death)
Mile 11 – 9:59
Mile 12 – 9:58

At Mile 13, my mantra was “You can do anything for 10 minutes, just keep going.” I wanted to walk so badly, but I didn’t want to walk in the last 1.1 miles. We turned into Keeneland and there was a fun marching band playing and tons of people to cheer you to the finish. I just turned on whatever afterburners I had left and kept running. I saw the banner for the end of Mile 13 and then the finish line up ahead and I was sprinting. Near the finish I caught a glimpse of M standing taking photos and I shouted his name, but kept running. I wanted that medal and to just be done. I was also close to my goal time.

Mile 13 – 9:56
0.1 Nubbin – 0:52 (at a 7:55 pace!)
Total: 13.1 miles in 2:09:55 (official chip time, 2:09:47, 9:54 avg)

My last (first) half marathon time was 2:17:58. I had wanted to definitely beat that, be around 2:10-2:15, but I would have never imagined crushing my old time by 8 minutes! And on a hilly course such as the RTB!? CRAZY!

I am still soaring high today. The entire race was awesome. This year’s theme was Genuine Risk, a filly that won the 1980 Kentucky Derby. (Last year’s theme was Secretariat–the RTB definitely is all about its hometown.) So the ribbons on the medal was the filly’s silks–creative, huh??

So proud!

So proud!

The race coordinator did a great job. M even met him at 3 am to help jump their UHaul. He’s super active and personable on Twitter and Facebook. He even remembered that I tweeted about my race shirt being too big–when M told him his wife was running, Eric asked what my name was. Upon hearing my name, Eric said, “Oh yeah, her shirt was too big. Tell her we have extras and she just needs to let them know that I said she could get whatever size she needed.” How awesome is that??

I was so happy to have my cheerleader to meet me at the finish line.

I was so happy to have my cheerleader to meet me at the finish line.

The whole experience was so great, I’m already playing with the idea of running it again. Crazy, I know, but how can you say no when the race is 10 minutes from your house??

And this is how I celebrated 13.1 miles: Desert at PF Chang’s (after a great dinner there, of course). Banana Spring Rolls with pineapple/coconut ice cream–delicious!!

Banana Spring Rolls with pineapple/coconut ice cream, berries, and a little honey!

Banana Spring Rolls with pineapple/coconut ice cream, berries, and a little honey!

5 Things Friday – 3.29.13

This “5 Things Friday” is brought to you by racing nerves!

That’s right…less than 24 hours from now I’ll be running in the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon–just my second half marathon, but a scary one with lots of hills and one giant hill! I’ve been training hard since January, run in single digit temps with 3 inches of snow falling, run in totally different locations in the area, joined two running groups to train for this, and learned so much. I hope I’m ready!

I'm going to love having one of these cool medals around my neck!

I’m going to love having one of these cool medals around my neck! (Source)

My first half marathon I ran in 2:17:58. I’m hoping to better that time–aiming for 2:14 or so. We’ll see. I just hope I can keep the nerves at bay and just run my race and keep a solid pace.

I checked out the Run the Bluegrass Race Expo last night, and was totally bummed that I ordered the wrong size race shirt! FAIL! I’m hoping I can trade with someone for a smaller shirt. The expo was alright–not as big as the Kentucky Derby Marathon/Half Marathon Expo last year, but it was nice to see the local companies.

So, without further adieu, here are my five things for the last Friday of March!

  1. Fun Weekend. Last weekend was fun with the agility trial and getting in 8 miles in Sharon Woods Park. I strongly suggest checking out new places (as long as it’s safe) for runs, especially when you’re traveling–I feel like it gives you an extra burst of energy because everything is fresh and new!
  2. Leading by Example. This was a great post that I caught on Twitter about being a healthy example and how you can “lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.” Boy do I know how Coco feels! I feel that way everyday with my husband and family. It can be so frustrating, but you hope something might rub off at some point.
  3. Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon. Did I mention that this was tomorrow?? Did I mention there were hills?? Yeah. I’m planning to try to relax and take it easy tonight, but not sure how I can get a good night’s rest with all the anxiety.
  4. When A Calorie Isn’t A Calorie. Very informative article, thanks to yet another Twitter find! It’s mostly about eating clean and basic to introduce people to thinking that 100 calories of low fat fried crackers isn’t the same, nutritionally, as 100 calories of (say) raw almonds.
  5. Crushing Doubts. I’m hoping that this weekend I can crush some of the confidence crushers I’ve felt lately. I’m going to tackle those 13.1 miles of hills, and I’m going to revel in the after-race-party, and I’m going to love wearing my medal! (Did you know I was running in a half marathon tomorrow?? haha)

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Not only because of the half marathon on Saturday, but I’m hoping to host a little Easter gathering with friends Sunday evening. Then M and I are headed to Cincy for the Reds Opening Day on Monday! I just hope the weather holds up and is at least decent for us!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Tapering Week Randomness

This week has just felt so unorganized, random, and unsettling for me. I hate taper weeks! You work so hard, trying to increase your mileage and your speed, push yourself to the limits, and train hard for months for your half marathon/marathon, then you’re expected to take a week off to allow your muscles to relax, restore, and be ready for the big race. But yet your mind is still reeling and thinking.

Less than 48 hours until I conquer this race!

Less than 48 hours until I conquer this race!

I ran 8 miles on Saturday and then 3.5 Monday after work. Since then, I haven’t done much. I did a Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD Tuesday morning, then did some heavy lifting after work (mostly my upper body, but I threw some squats in there). Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings have been long walks in the park with the dogs to stretch their and my legs. I’ve been itching to run, but worried that I want to have my legs for the massive hills I’ll be running on Saturday. Plus, I’ve been wanting to rest my knee. This am I did another yoga DVD to stretch my body and hopefully ease my mind.

But then I see tweets from people running in the same half marathon I am doing that are still running 3-5 miles this am, just two days before the race. I think to myself “Am I going to be prepared for this? Is resting up the way to go, or should I have pushed for a few miles last night?” You seriously can drive yourself mad doubting your actions during a taper week!

After work last night I was about to set out to the gym for some time on the elliptical and more upper body weights when suddenly I just wasn’t feeling it. It’s weird for me to just not feel like going to the gym at all, especially in the middle of the week, but I figured it was a sign and listened to my body. I drove straight home and M and I took the dogs out for a 2.25 mile walk instead. Then I cleaned the house to keep myself busy and my body moving.

I have a packed evening schedule today, but I’m suddenly wanting to get in at least 15 minutes on the elliptical to stretch the legs and get the blood flowing. I just gotta try to not push myself too much.

And now for the randomness…

There have been a few blog posts that have really stuck with me this week that I want to share.

Matters of Course (RunningHutch) – Tiffany put together a great blog about runners who CrossFit (or CrossFitters who run). It was fun to read the different views of people who “do it all” in fitness because I’d like to still try my hand at CrossFit, but I was worried it’d affect my running training.

Piloting Paper Airplanes – This post was something I needed after having some confidence issues this week. What Makes Me Powerful made me really think about what makes me feel powerful in my life. You know everyone has their lackluster moments, but it’s always good to read that there are others who have those moments (even the people who appear to have it all together) and how they handle those moments. I hope to do a post like this soon.

The Lean Green Bean – Finally, Lindsay has perfect timing when it comes to some of the things she puts together on her blog. She posted a follow up blog post on Things Blogging Has Taught Me today, and I really needed that. I’ve been inspired with my recent Sweat Pink Ambassadorship to do more with my blog, but I don’t really know how to get the ball rolling. There is a big world of potential when it comes to blogging and you have to really dig deep and be persistent to grow your own brand. I get inspiration from bloggers like Lindsay, Anne, Clare, and Tina, and I want to do more awesome things like them everyday.

Time to get my mind straight and focus. I’m hoping the rest of the week flies by.

A Weekend Full of Running

I know it’s Wednesday, but I’ve been meaning to post a quick weekend wrap-up!

Over the weekend I was back up in Ohio for another dog agility trial. I know, I know, I had just returned from Oklahoma from Nationals, but this was a fun trial and I was surprised I got in, so I went ahead and took the dogs to have a little fun. Because it was also the last weekend before my half marathon, I knew I needed to try to get some sort of long training run in. (I didn’t run at all while at Nationals because my hotel ended up not having a workout room–fail.)

So after doing four runs with the dogs (two each, which is mainly a lot of sprinting, turning, etc., for about 40-60 seconds a piece), I gave them some extra water and told my friends I was heading to a local park to get a long run in. They were going to stay behind and watch more of the competition and would keep an eye on the girls for me.

Now I love this park! I have to say that Ohio takes great pride in their parks, and this one is no exception. Every time we’re at this particular trial site, we always take the dogs for walks in Sharon Woods Park. There are plenty of trails, plus a beautiful creek that comes off the lake. The dogs can swim in the creek during the hot days and enjoy hiking on the trails to unwind after a competition.

This place is so beautiful, every time we're here there are professional photos (wedding, engagement, senior, family, etc.) being taken all over the place. How can you not enjoy a run here??

This place is so beautiful, every time we’re here there are professional photos (wedding, engagement, senior, family, etc.) being taken all over the place. How can you not enjoy a run here??

But I had never gone for a run there until Saturday. I parked in our usual area, warmed up a little and then took off. My goal was to get in at least six miles, but I wanted to try to go for more. I started on a steep uphill climb on a gravel trail (that’s one way to knock you back into running reality) that we usually just walk the dogs on. That was tough! The sun was out and it was a little chilly, but after only a half-mile I had shed my pullover and was in short sleeves for the rest of the run.

I then got onto a paved trail with varying inclines. I ran along Sharon Lake and under highway overpasses, but it was still pretty peaceful. (I didn’t have my headphones with me, but I didn’t really need them.) There were plenty of other people out enjoying the rare sunshine, probably trying to get some exercise in before the snow that was supposed to hit Sunday.

I ended up going about three miles when I decided to turn around and go back the way I came. There was more after where I stopped, but I wasn’t sure how much longer it would take me to make it all the way around the park and I didn’t want to leave the dogs at the trial site too long.

I then found myself on this Parcourse Trail, which had stations where you could stop and do different activities like log hops, squats, balance beam, etc. It seemed like something fun you could do to mix up your run, but I just wanted to push on and just run. My Garmin beeped 7 miles and I was still feeling great, so I pushed for 7.5….which then turned into pushing for 8. I wound up at the parking lot where I left the car, so I decided it was probably best to leave the run at 8 miles. I hadn’t brought my foam roller with me and I needed to be able to run the dogs tomorrow morning as well. Plus, I didn’t want to push too hard with the half marathon just a week away.

I was proud of my last long run. I was amazed at how easy the 8 miles felt and how I was finally one of those runners who was just running to run and not just run a couple miles, but running 8 miles!

Here were my splits:
Mile 1 – 9:36
Mile 2 – 9:01
Mile 3 – 8:58
Mile 4 – 8:47 (umm, who am I??)
Mile 5 – 9:17 (I think this is when I realized how fast I was going and toned it down a little)
Mile 6 – 9:31
Mile 7 – 9:07
Mile 8 – 9:20
Total – 8 .01 miles in 01:13:45 (about a 9:17 average pace)

After stretching I headed back to the agility trial to pick up the girls and then I met my friends back at the park to take them for a walk. We ended up covering about 2.25 miles on our walk, so overall I did more than 10 miles on Saturday (not including the courses I ran with the dogs in the trial). My legs were a little tired, but not too bad. Nothing a cold beer at dinner couldn’t cure! 😉

The "Stump Kids" (as I call my pups) always love getting in the creek to get a quick drink and cool their bellies. (Dally, the Corgi, like to swim, LaMesa not so much.)

The “Stump Kids” (as I call my pups) always love getting in the creek to get a quick drink and cool their bellies. (Dally, the Corgi, like to swim, LaMesa not so much.)

I really enjoyed my Saturday doing that. I think I might have to run around that park more often when I’m in town. At agility trials we tend to eat a fast food breakfast (Egg McMuffin for me) and then snack until we have dinner. You end up feeling like poo at the end of the weekend, but this run refreshed me!

Have you tried to combine two activities like an agility trial and long training run like I have?

Confidence Crushers

Confidence is such a sensitive thing. One minute you can feel on top of the world, and the next you feel like the world is crushing you as it walks all over you. You work so hard to build yourself up–whether it’s hours in the gym, tons of reading, or whatever you can do to build confidence. Once you start to feel it, it’s a great ride–you’re standing tall and you feel like you can do no wrong. Everything is better and goes smoothly for you.

And, yet some times, it takes one little thing to burst that bubble and tear you down brick by brick. You don’t see it coming–it’s actually like a back-handed slap that can come from behind your back.

I’ve been feeling confident about my race training. I knew I had to take two weekends off right before my half marathon coming this weekend, so I had pushed up my training and actually had run 12-13 miles three weekends in a row just in the past month. But it’s been the big break that’s concerned me. I’ve been working on inclines/hill intervals on the treadmill and running different courses with hills (even once on part of the actual course), thinking I’ve done enough to prep for the Run the Bluegrass. But suddenly today, as I’m reading people’s tweets and Facebook posts about the hellacious hills that “bless” the course (especially mile 9, so I hear) my mind starts reeling…did I do enough training? Can my knee (which has been bothering me the past few weeks or so) handle the 13.1 miles and the hills?

I’ve basically decided that I probably shouldn’t chance running in the Derby Half Marathon 30 days after the Run The Bluegrass because I don’t know how my body would handle it. A total 180 from how I was feeling previously.

Another confidence blower came to me in my confidence in my abilities as a dog agility handler/trainer. Without getting into too much detail (since I know the majority of you aren’t 100% up on your dog speak), I mishandled something in the last round of Nationals in Tulsa that I mishandled last year at Nationals in Reno. I didn’t learn from that mistake. And then this weekend, at an agility trial, I didn’t work the courses or the dogs like a handler who had just returned from Nationals. It might not mean much to some, but my ability to work an animal successfully (it’s the same with horses) is very important to me because it’s a part of who I am.

It’s things like that that makes you yearn for just a little affirmation that you’re still doing alright–that you still look good in those jeans, or that you’ve done some great things with your dogs. You know you shouldn’t have to need to push for those compliments, but they tend to make a difference.

So what do you do to give your confidence a little boost?

Running Goodies–StrideBox Review

Last month I won a contest with #Runchat that earned me a free two-month membership to StrideBox. If you haven’t heard about StrideBox, it’s a monthly subscription program where for less than $15 a month you get a decent-sized box in the mail every month jam-packed with all sorts of new treats and gear for runners. It’s a great way to try new things without the commitment.

A couple of weeks ago I got my first box and I immediately opened it up. (Can I just say how much I love how the box says “Just Keep Running”–that’s my mantra towards the end of my long runs.)

A box full of running goodies? Yes, please!

A box full of running goodies? Yes, please!

Every box comes with “The Stride Guide” which describes the contents:

Given Brand – Original FLIP Pocket Wrist Wallet 
Perfect to hold cash, an ID, house/hotel key, or an energy gel. One size fits most. Wear on wrist, forearm, or upper arm. (Retail $10.95)

PowerICE – Frozen, Hydrating Ice Bar with Electrolytes
Freeze and consume 15-30 minutes before exercise. (Retail $8.99/6 ice bars)

Picky Bar – Gluten Free, Dairy Free Energy Bar
A great tasting, allergy sensitive energy bar designed by athletes. Consume one hour before or 30 minutes after training for best results (Retail $22.99/10 bars)

Click Espresso Protein Drink – Mocha
Add to 12-14 ounces of water and mix. Enjoy hot or cold. (Retail $2.95/packet)

Kind Bar – Nuts & Spices – Dark Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt
Healthy snack bar with 7g of fiber, 6g of protein, and only 5 g of sugar. Consume as a healthy, nutritious snack between runs, or any time. (Retail $1.99/bar)

Gu Energy Gel – Peanut Butter
100 calorie, easily digestible, long lasting energy gel. Consume 15 minutes before activity and every 45 minutes during. (Retail $11.60/8 gels)

Run Guard – Original Anti-Chafe Stick
Prevent chafing with high quality, natural ingredients. Apply before run where chafing occurs: Underarms, groin, toes, etc. (Retail $3.95/travel size)

Win High Performance Sport Detergent
Detergent formulated for synthetic, technical athletic gear. Add to load of synthetic apparel on warm, tumble low, or hang dry. (Retail $1.00/trial size)

So, as you can see, you get a lot for a little bit of money!

Not only was this Picky Bar delicious, I loved reading every inch of the wrapper!

Not only was this Picky Bar delicious, I loved reading every inch of the wrapper!

I have to admit that I haven’t been able to try everything yet. I’ve had the Picky Bar, and that was delicious! I definitely want to find those somewhere. I’m looking forward to trying the Kind Bar, but I have to wait until Easter, since I gave up chocolate for Lent…same with the Click protein shake (I’m thinking of saving that for after my half marathon next weekend).

The PowerICE bars are being saved for those warm days that I’ll want to consume something extremely cold before my runs (somehow running in 20* weather doesn’t make me want to consume ice). And I’m excited for the Run Guard because I’ve been needing to buy something to help for when I can start running in shorts again.

I am already looking forward to my April StrideBox. I’ll be able to do a better review, hopefully. And as I try the products in my boxes, I’ll be sure to share my review!

What would you like to see come in a box for runners?

5 Things Friday — 3.22.13

Because of my trip, I wasn’t able to do a “5 Things Friday” last week, so this includes stuff from the past couple of weeks. So, let’s get going!

  1. Ten Miles Crushed I crushed my first 10-mile race a couple of weeks ago. I felt strong before, during, and after the run, even with the additional 3.1 miles I ran. That was also my last long run before the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon that’s next weekend, so I’m hoping that was good enough to help me be prepared for the race.
  2. Loving Yogurt Bowls. I am loving making my own granola and then having a big bowl of Greek yogurt, a sliced banana, and granola for a meal. I have to thank my friend Nicole for the inspiration to make my own granola. I need to get different nuts and grains to change it up some.
  3. The Tulsa Experience. I had so much fun with my friends and Dally in Tulsa for the AKC National Agility Championships. Merinda and I had fun doing photo ops with the dogs on our drive out there. I got some great shots I can’t wait to get printed and framed to hang on our walls!
  4. Sweating Pink. While I was in Tulsa, I got an email announcing I had been selected as a Sweat Pink Ambassador! I’m so excited about the opportunities that will come with this program and I can’t wait to share them with you.
  5. Welcome Spring! Orrr…maybe not. Last week I was all about the sunshine and warm temperatures (heck, in Oklahoma it was in the 80s while we were there!), but this week Spring (which officially started on Wednesday) is being shy and won’t come out from under winter. WTH?? I’m hoping it’ll warm up before the half marathon next week!

M’s job schedule is getting switched up again. Now I know law enforcement isn’t the most predictable, but it’s hard when his schedule keeps getting switched every couple of weeks. I have no idea how he’ll be able to adjust to working midnight to 8 am and have a “normal” life on days off, but we’ll have to figure out something. This means that the am workouts we’ve been doing together will no longer happen, and he’ll just have to meet me at the gym after work now.

Speaking of workouts, last night I went to Complete Nutrition to get some more protein powder for me, and to start M on some. The guy working there, Tom, helped me out a lot, pointing out a couple of different powders for both of us. I decided to go with the V-Core ProComplete Vanilla Bean powder for both of us (I want to make sure M will be committed to using protein shakes before I spend big bucks on the one I liked for him). I like vanilla because it’s more flexible than other flavors when it comes to mixing it with fruits, etc. Tom even recommended mixing it with Trop50 for an orange creamsicle taste–great idea!

He also suggested a pre-workout for an energy boost mostly for M before he goes to the gym, but I can also use it throughout the day when I’m feeling a little sluggish. It was half-off, so I figured it’d be worth a try. He recommended drinking it right before going to the gym, or I can sip on it throughout the day. The only flavor left was the cherry pomegranate  but it’s pretty good! (I decided to sip on a bottle of it throughout the day to see how I like it.) I’m hoping it’ll help M start to achieve his weight loss goals a little faster to kick start his training for the police department’s physical test.

Sorry for the crappy photo, this was the quick snapshot I took to message M after I got back from the store.

Sorry for the crappy photo, this was the quick snapshot I took to message M after I got back from the store.

I’m going to give both products a try and let you know what I think of them. I’ve been using GNC’s Total Lean 25 vanilla protein powder before, but I am always up to try new things.

What are your favorite workout supplements?

I’m Sweating Pink!

While I was in Tulsa I received an email telling me I had been selected to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador! I’m pretty excited about it because it means that I can dive deeper into the world of health, fitness, and well-being with my blog and connect with a lot more young women like myself!

Sweat Pink is part of FitApproach, a community devoted to living a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to become an ambassador because I love inspiring people and I want to continue learning about living a healthful life, all while having fun and growing. The ambassador page asks: Do you have a passion for inspiring others on their journeys to health? Do you believe that strong is the new skinny, pink is the new black, and that a positive attitude and whole foods are a healthier route to happiness than self-loathing and 100-calorie snack packs? And I answered, “Yes!”

SPambassador4

I’ve already ordered my Sweat Pink tank top and can’t wait to received the signature pink shoe laces. The funny thing is, I’ve never been a big fan of the color pink, but I’m starting to see it popping up in my wardrobe and life more and more (namely when it comes to Dally’s agility colors–she’s a fan of hot pink and zebra print, perfect for a diva such as herself). I guess it’s me finally starting to embrace being a little girly.

I can’t wait to do more networking and hopefully get to attend events to learn more about healthy eating, living, and fitness. As things start to come around, I’ll be sure to share with you all about the program and anything fun that I do!

Until then, keep up the good sweat!

Back into the Swing of Things

Last night Dally and I finally made it home to Lexington after about 11 hours of driving. Well, actually I was co-pilot and my friend Merinda was the driver. It was a great trip definitely full of great memories.

Our weekend in Tulsa in four shots!

Our weekend in Tulsa in four shots!

Even though I packed running shoes and clothes, I didn’t get a chance to run while we were in Tulsa. Even though I found a nice park I could have run at, it wasn’t easy to get to walking from the hotel, and I didn’t want to be a bother to Merinda. There really was only one day that I really was able to run, and it was better to walk the dogs instead. So basically I only ran Tuesday night when I got in 6.5 miles around my only neighborhood. I was hoping that the break from running would help my knee feel better, but I didn’t account for all the walking around the fairgrounds, plus running Dally on the courses, etc.

My left knee has had a bit of swelling and has been achey lately. I’ve been icing it after my runs, but it hasn’t felt better. At first I thought maybe it was because my knee cap was grinding down on the cartilage again (I don’t have much in my knees thanks to volleyball, riding horses, and now running). But I’m afraid it might be something else. My mom thinks it might be tendonitis or something with the bursa that can only be treated by a specialist. I’m going to wait to see an orthopedist until after my half marathon next weekend, but I’m afraid it might mean I shouldn’t do the Derby Half Marathon a month later…

I still got out on the treadmill after work today and belted out a 5 mile hill interval run in 47:54 and I felt great (well, minus my knee). After stretching and doing some pushups and crunches, I headed home to walk the pups and get them to stretch their legs in the park.

I’m currently trying to get back into the swing of things this week. I’m trying to get in as many runs as possible before my half marathon (I can’t do a long training run this weekend because I have another agility trial). I’ve got lots to update you on, including sharing some more photos from Tulsa, my StrideBox review, and my SweatPink ambassadorship!

What have I missed while I was gone??