Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Six Flags of Fun

I have no clue what day of the week it is.

Okay, not entirely true, but I did use a vacation day yesterday to go to Six Flags New England with some friends. So in a weird way today feels like a Monday. Except its Wednesday. This is both awesome and weirdly disorienting. Much like the new thrill ride at Six Flags called Goliath.

So I usually love thrill rides, but I was really nervous while waiting for this coaster. I also kept my eyes shut for 75% of the ride. I don't know what bothered me so much. The vertical drops? The going backwards? Something about this ride just worried me. It was fun, but too scary to be a favorite.

My favorite is definitely Superman Bizarro. It's got one major drop, then lots of twists, turns and a few more less tall drops. Plus, it lasts about 3.5 minutes, so there's actually time to enjoy the ride.

Luckily, I went with two friends who also enjoy a good roller coaster, so there was very little debating about what rides we wanted to go on. It was so much fun! I just wish the park was closer so we could go more often!

Are you a fan of roller coasters?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Semi Silly Weekend

When I told friends and family that I was doing two races this weekend, they basically thought I was nuts. Luckily, I have two friends who are just as crazy. Love you Jane and Erin!

Rewind a few months ago to when Jane and I were already registered for the BAA 10k as part of the BAA's distance medley. Erin told us about the Mill Pond 5k in Plymouth, a course she and I had already run as part of a pub run. After talking it out, we decided to do both races. As this was like a mini Goofy Challenge, we named this our semi-silly weekend.

I told myself that I wouldn't race either. I knew the 5k course was going to be hilly, and I would want to keep my legs fresh for the 10k the next day. Of course, when you get to race day, this is easier said than done. As the other runners took off, I speed up to keep up. It was ridiculously humid and I felt it right away on the first hill. I kept pushing myself, and I enjoyed the scenic course. It definitely helped having run it beforehand. Since it had been rainy earlier in the morning, I decided to leave my ipod and my Garmin at home. It killed me because I had no clue what my splits were, but ultimately a nice break running gadget free.

I ended up finishing in 26 minutes and 20 seconds. Not super speedy by normal standards, but it was over a minute faster than my previous 5k. Whoop, whoop!

Fast forward to this morning for the 10k. Before even getting into the race environment, my legs felt good after the 5k, so I figured I could handle it. It was going to be a hot race, but after letting the heat get to me in last month's half marathon, I knew I couldn't let it get me down again.

This is such a great race, as I love running by the Boston Common and through BU's campus. The course is out and back, so you get to see the elites run by as you're racing. I saw them fly by alarmingly early. It's crazy.

The race was pretty uneventful. The BAA handled the heat very well with water stops every miles and one at about 5.5. It was perfect.

I finished this race in 55:50. About a minute and a half slower than the Strawberry Shortcake race last month, but oh well. I knew I gave it my all, and I was proud of my time.

You know what was especially awesome? BOTH races emailed me my results just hours after the race! I am blown away by the direct contact and the quick delivery! Wow! Is this where race technology is going? Because I'm loving it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

When the Universe Gives You Cupcakes...

I am still sore from my body pump class night. Because it's smart to go all out on Thursday when you have two races over the weekend. So smart.

So the world had a funny sense of humor. I got out of my gym and directly across the street was a cupcake truck.

Apparently my workout was just paying it forward. I had worked really hard, and I've actually never gotten a cupcake from the truck before (though I swear it sometimes stalks me). I decided to splurge and got a cupcake!

While I was hoping for something peanut butter related, there weren't any flavors that fit that bill. I "settled" for the Somerville Sensation, which is an espresso cupcake with fluff filling and nutella frosting.

I ate a big spinach salad before hand and really filled myself up with nutritious veggies. I saved the cupcake for an evening treat. Well worth the wait!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Get Comfortable

This morning, I saw a woman running. She looked very uncomfortable, and not because of the heat. You could tell that her chest was not very well supported. I've often heard the workout mantra "change is uncomfortable," but that's not what they mean!

I recently discovered Moving Comfort sports bras, and I really wanted to share my discover with this woman. Since that would be really awkward and inappropriate, I will just share with all of you!

On top: the Fiona Bra and On Botton: the Rebound Racer

 For awhile I'd been hearing great things about the Moving Comfort brand. Sports bras aren't cheap and I had some perfectly okay ones at home so never felt a need to spend the money. A sale at City Sports finally inspired me to purchase the popular Fiona style bra.

I instantly fell in love! The clasp back made it easy to get on and off. (no more getting stuck in a sticky, sweaty sports bra and flailing around in the locker room, hoorah!) I just bought a boring practical white one, so I instantly went online to purchase another one of the many available colors. I went with the blue, and also opted to try out another even more supportive style. I went with the Rebound Racer. This has a racer back and is perfect for running. Both bras have adjustable straps which help you customize the fit. I read online reviews that said the band on the Rebound Racer run small, but I didn't find that to be true.

Anyway, I highly recommend either of these bras, and I've also heard wonderful things about the Juno style bra. (Particularly for women who are blessed with more up top than I have). I can only hope that someone shares similar information with the runner from this morning.

I wore one of my Fiona bras last night while working out to the Beach Babe DVD. I did the HIIT workout, followed by the Bikini Abs, and the Long & Lean routines. The Bikini Abs was pretty good, and I loved finishing off my workout with the Long & Lean workout. It's like a quicky yoga session that stretches all the areas I need! I think it would be perfect to throw on after a long run.

The one negative comment I have is that they run ads for their nutrition plan during the water breaks through out the workout. I am usually busy enjoying my water, but didn't grab some before yesterday's workout, so I noticed the ads. Not really a big deal but if you're the kind of person who hates advertising (like my father), then maybe not the DVD for you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome to Summer

Happy first day of summer! Boston decided to celebrate with temperatures in the 90's. Awesome.

I'm super lame this week and haven't been running once.

In anticipation of the hot afternoon, I set my alarm early to get in a refreshing pre-work run and beat the heat. Did that happen? Nope. If anyone has any secrets to getting out of bed for a morning workout, I'd really like to know them. I do love running in the morning, but "just woke up Margo" loves her bed more.

Yesterday I did the Beach Babe DVD HIIT workout. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It was a quick but sweaty workout. I probably should have done something longer, but this got the job done. 

I am actually a huge fan of this DVD. There are 7 different workouts on here! They're of different lengths and focuses. The other day I did the "bikini booty" routine. It's only 10 minutes, but I totally felt it! If you're in the market for a workout DVD, I highly recommend this one. The trainers are fun, the moves are effective, and like I said, you get 7 different workouts to mix and match!

Since I failed at getting in a run, I will probably do another workout this afternoon at home basking in the comfort of central air.

And seriously, someone please tell me how to get in a morning workout.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I heart DC

Back from an epic weekend in DC! We went to jazz in the park, a classy tea, and to a Top Chef contestant's restaurant. I got to drive a paddle boat, see my brother, and dance the night away with the bride-to-be.

 I had an awesome weekend! Hopefully the bride did too! Can't wait to go back for the big day! :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Good Hair Day

Good news. Someone recommended adding a squirt of agave nectar to my Kale Smoothie, and guess what? It tasted much better this morning!

In my smoothie:
2 handfuls of kale
1/2 a frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3/4 a Cup of Almond Milk
1 generous squirt of agave nectar

I still have a ton of kale so I foresee another one of these tomorrow morning.

After the smoothie, I threw together a chickpea, lemon and spinach salad for lunch. It's super yummy, easy to make, and healthy! It then went in my large bag of food for the day.

Obviously I need an entire bag's worth of food. Yum!

I've been trying to be especially good about what I'm eating this week as I have been slacking in the exercise department. I haven't run in almost a week!

I confess it's partially due to the fact I got a new haircut on Tuesday afternoon. So no workout Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

It doesn't look all that different than before, though I cut off 5 inches! I'd been growing my hair out for the wedding basically since we got engaged. I was ready for something a bit cooler for the summer. My hairdresser calls it the "post-wedding chop." I hate doing something so cliche but I needed the change!
I feel like a silly girl for using a good hair day as an excuse not to work out. It reminds me of this commercial. What's the weakest excuse you've used for not hitting the gym?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kale or be Kaled

So until I tried a new brownie recipe, I thought I didn't like white chocolate. Turns out that white chocolate is delicious! Go figure.

Recently, I experienced the exact opposite. Years ago, I tried kale chips for the very first time. I loved them. I basically ate all of them off my co-worker's plate.

So recently, I bought a huge bundle of kale at the grocery store. I thought of how tasty my kale chips would be and was looking forward to the delicious snack. Imagine my surprise when I took one off my baking sheet and put it in my mouth and did not enjoy it. Further more, my apartment kind of smelled from the baking process. Erm big miss on my part!

So what to do with the still massive amounts of kale in my fridge. This morning I came up with the answer as I was craving my morning green smoothie, but was out of spinach.

You guessed it! I put the kale in a smoothie! Instead of chia seeds, I threw in some vanilla protein powder, and that helped make the drink taste less like kale. I didn't like it quite as much as my spinach smoothie, but it was a good way for me to enjoy all the health benefits of kale.

Confession: this is actually just a photo of my spinach drink. Oddly enough, looks the same with kale.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Good to be Home

Back in Boston after 4 days in Arizona!

I got in late Saturday night and spent most of my Sunday eating and sleeping.

Arizona was great! I loved what I saw of the state and even enjoyed the heat! The conference went well, and best of all, I got to visit with my aunt and uncle!

This week I'll be focusing on getting back into a routine of working out and healthy eating. Those are definitely two things that I let slide during the trip (and my first day home, yikes!)

It's hard to get back on track. I'm hitting up the grocery store tonight so that I can stalk my kitchen with healthy foods so that there's no excuse for eating poorly. I also just got a new workout dvd that I'm dying to try. Plus the BAA 10K is just two weeks away, so I need to amp up my running! Hopefully these three things will make getting back on track easier!

What do you do to get back on track?

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's a Dry Heat

Out in Arizona for work right now. Our conference is underway and things seem to running smoothly (knock on wood).

One of the great things is that being 3 hours behind makes a 6am wake-up feel like sleeping-in. Score!
As a result, I have been able to hit up the hotel fitness center.

It's been a great start to my day though the equipment is just ok. Oh well, better than running outside in this heat!

Hope everyone has a happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!!

Today I celebrated by...going for a run! In my "Run" shirt!

I am about to leave on a business trip, so I have a lot to do today and debated skipping the run. Of course I knew none of my excuses would be very good, so before I could over think things, I threw on my clothes and headed out the door.

I am so proud to be part of the running community. Especially when you hear stories like this:

I definitely got teary eyed watching this video!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Green Smoothie

Scary looking, right? Trust me when I say this is a glass full of amazing!

I am pretty bad about eating vegetables. I'll have a salad a few times a week and maybe a small side of veggies with dinner, but generally speaking, I find it tough to get in all the recommended servings.

We all know that vegetables are loaded with nutrients that help fuel our bodies and such, so I'm not going to bore you with all of that. Besides, I'm not an expert and would probably start using Popeye cartoons as a reference.

Anyway, I am always looking for a way to get more vegetables into my diet because I know all these vitamins will help my body become stronger and ultimately a better athlete. My latest favorite is this green smoothie! I've been making it every morning for the last week, and I drink it on an empty stomach. I swear that I instantly feel more energized! My body loves getting all those nutrients first thing in the day, and best of all, it tastes good too!

Green Smoothie:
1 Giant Handful of Spinach (about 1.5 Cups)
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Banana (frozen or fresh)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (optional)
3-5 Ice Cubes (if banana isn't frozen)

Simply throw all the ingredients in a blender and hit start! When the mixture looks smooth, pour and enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Marathons and Free Donuts

Four years ago today I ran my very first marathon!!

I learned a lot about myself and running thanks to that race. Nothing like your first marathon! I loved how every long distance run was a new personal long distance for me. I would love to say I was hooked after that race, but I am pretty sure that if I hadn't already entered the NYC lottery, I would never have run another marathon. The San Diego race was tough, and there were times when I just wanted to give-up. I teared up at the finish when I finally saw my #1 cheerleader Carla. It was certainly an epic trip.

I actually owe it all to my good friend Erin! Thank you!

And the opposite of marathon is free donut day at Dunkies!

Yum! I actually remember free donut day last year was our moving day! I woke up early to treat myself to an iced coffee and got a free donut! Can't believe we've been in our apartment for about a year. It's as if today is a double anniversary. Think I will celebrate with a donut!