Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lucky Number...

5?! Yes 5...five is the number of random things I must come up with in order to honor the fabulous blog award granted by the even more fabulous Lindsey, Most Versatile Blogger...

I have had a little trouble thinking up 5 things (it is a lot harder than you would think - give it a try yourself!) and here is what I have come up with to share with you all...

5. I was voted "Biggest Flirt" in high school...which, if you know me is probably not completely surprising :)

4. I was on the Bahamian news for doing community service at a Nassau, Bahamas Boys and Girls Club during my college senior trip

3. My very first concert was Nelly and the Cash Money Millionairres (yes, I have had a gangstar side a good part of high school), mainly because my nickname was the same as his name - Nellie

2. I had never been on a sailboat before I met Tripp...only speed boats and kayaks

1. I have a button in my left knee and a cadaver in my right knee....classy, I know :)

Honestly, the more I wrote down, the easier they came to me...if you know me at all, or read the blog, I am pretty random in most things I seem to do in life...I have focus around my goals, around projects, and at work - but why not mix it up during the other hours of the day?!

My 5 versatile bloggers I want to honor with this award would have to be...

  • SUAR: Shut up and Run - as much as I don't admit it on the blog (I am still trying to get followers up here and don't want to scare away the couple that I have - so follow please :)...I relate to her wonderful stories of bodily distress while working it out
  • Lindsay: Cotter Crunch - she has some great insight into life and positive thoughts, some killer food choices, some intense workouts, and she may or may not have turned me onto Kombucha! (expensive habit lady!)
  • Ali: Food, Fitness, Fashion - she is a crossfit master, dresses to impress on the Boston streets, and always has a cool product or race review to share (some cute stories and tidbits on there too!)
  • Vanessa: Gourmet Runner - she is not only a phenom trail and road runner, but she is apparantly a level 3 (correct me if I am wrong)  Apprentice House Building Helper - the girl got skillz! Now if that isn't versatile I am not quite sure what the heck is!
  • Clare: Fitting It All In: she not only is a yoga and spinning queen, but she has some pretty cools eats and she is in the middle of moving to Dallas for a new job! How cool/strong/awesome is that?!

On another note, I know I have been a little MIA, awesome is chocolate cake?! This was my post-lunch treat today, a co-worker is leaving and we all got some :)

A piece of chocolate cake the size of my head :) Oh I am happy you better believe it!
I am off to check out skydivers and fireworks at Boston's Fan Pier!  Fourth of July coming early to celebrate the Extreme 40's in Boston!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BAA 10K Recap

This past Sunday, I ran in the inaugural B.A.A 10K, a 6.2 mile out and back race around the Boston Commons and BU area.  This race was really well run for it's first running, but I suppose the B.A.A. should have race-day logistics down to a tee, regardless of the distance...they are the driving the force behind the famous Boston Marathon after all!

Running the race was a last minute decision for me, as I signed up last Thursday, so I had to wait to pick up my bib number until race day (everyone else received theirs in the mail, and some even had their names printed on them!). This extra piece of the pie meant I also wanted to get there (and get up) an extra 20 minutes early, just in case there was a stampede for the registration booth.  So the alarm was set for 6 AM, but with my race-day jitters, I was up bright and early at 5:30! Good thing I had laid out my race outfit the night before just in case I was late waking up!
Still trying to dry out the running shoes!
With the extra time, I had time to actually sit down and enjoy my pre-race breakfast, instead of my norm of shoving it down my face before getting to the start area...I enjoyed two pieces of whole wheat bread, toasted with crunchy all natural pb, a touch of honey and cinnamon sprinkle on top, a glass of iced coffee with a little skim milk and a big ole glass of water!
I usually end up tasting the pb halfway through the race (TMI, I know) but I think it gives me some good energy and staves off hunger for most of the I ate it....and enjoyed it....and I didn't taste a bit on the run - score :)

I put on my outfit (except I changed out the top for a black compression run top, and opted for the hat over the sunglasses and active band - it wasn't sunny, at all) and decided to jog to the T as a quickie warm up and way to avoid stress of trying to find parking soon as I left the house, I realized how warm and humid it was for the prediction of 65 degrees...thank god my long-sleeve was a throwaway!

I got to the Commons about an hour before the start, followed the signs to the reg table and picked up my bib and race shirt...which meant I would also have to pit stop at the bag check (which was not in the plan, but the shirt was too nice to chuck) On the way to bag check, I jogged passed Mutai and Kilel, no biggie.  Bag check was pretty painless and then it was off to find the innocent running companions I begged asked nicely to run with me.  I met up with Kristina (who was pacing a 7:15! read her race recap here - really...she writes like 10 times better then this thing) and Liz, who runs with the LUNA run every Wednesday (who I got separated from before the race started :( ).

With the start still 30 minutes out, Kristina and I decided to do some more warm up around the park and then get to our corral (I was going to be trying for 7:25s, so we were in the same corral) before we were stuck in the back of the pack, we passed Bill Rodgers, no biggie.  In fashion of the day, we were early to the corral and got right in the first row of the 8 minute section....until we quickly realized front row of second wave means stampede of runners knocking us down from behind and a quicker starting pace than planned for to avoid that fate, so we jumped the rope and stood at the back of the 7 minute corral, first wave, behind the likes of the winners of the Boston Marathon (Mutai and Kilel), Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Kim Smith to name a few, no biggie...ok maybe slight biggie at this point :)
That is the corral we jumped into post pic
Although we were trying to avoid going out too quick, adrenaline and open space in front of us led to a pretty quick first mile or 2 (7:04 and 7:02) - I responded with a cool "shit" as this was not on my race plan, but that pace felt really good, like natural and comfortable good...and then at mile 3, that sped up to sub-7 pace,  but the humidity was getting to me and I was starting to hurt energy wise.  Just before the 5k mark, you could see the leaders doubling back, which is a pretty cool experience - Kristina turned to me about this time and said "doesn't that just give you chills watching them?", to which I promptly responded, "it's either watching them or the overheating my body just went into" at this point, I slowed down and lost Kristina.

There was a water station at every mile, which I took full advantage each time I saw one, but I still hit a wall at full force by mile 4, I walked through the water station at mile 4! Mile 4 people!! I run more than 3 or 4 miles on a typical day, how could I not run them on race day?!  I had to turn on the mental game at this point, still stopping for water and slowing the pace even more to about a 7:30 and telling myself it is only 2.2 miles, this is something you know, this is something you can do, this is something you will do...

Mile 5 I peed myself a little, not going to lie...mile 6 I thought I had only 3 blocks left and then realized I still had to go part way around Boston Commons to finish, which also meant I sped up to a quicker pace, woops....mile 6.1 I pushed harder than I thought I had left in me but the cheers and finish line were daunting me, and mile 6.2 I officially PR'd! Yes, you read correct, despite my overheating and difficult last 2 miles, I finished with an almost 2-minute improved PR! Final chip time read in at 44:49, a 7:13 average split and 15th in my division (out of 204!)....I am still stunned two days later!  Kristina is amazing and slightly super-human and she finished with a 43:44 and a 7:03 average split, 9th in her division (we won't talk about the 27:19 minute finish of Mutai, because that is just a fairy tale and not real life).

Yay I made it!!! I was so exhausted, hot and had a disgusting amount of salt and sunscreen stuck to my face, but I still managed a thumbs up and smile...Kristina was gone by this point and I did offer a limb ask a nice gentleman to take my picture 5 a couple times in front of the banner with my medal and all (it even says inaugural race, which makes it pretty cool in my eyes).  There was also a decent band playing some good music (Brothers McCann) and lots of post-race snacks (fruit leather, score!) and Gatorade, which, despite my vow to never drink again for 10 years, I chugged like it was a beer drinking contest).

Post race, I rushed off to meet roomie Jenna for Jennifer Phelan's Pilates on the greenway in the North End, to further stress my body out in the heat...I am smart like that.  I then treated myself to some fro-yo, a delicious allagash beer, and this awesome outfit I got 15% at Lululemon (and tried out in the heat yesterday - excuse the sweaty, shiny face/hair).
i remembered to take the picture right before i stripped down for a shower...excuse the toilet in the background
Verdict on the inaugural B.A.A. 10K experience...I really liked it, I would do it again and I am really proud/happy I did it (plus it was a bit surreal to see all of those superstar runners)....yes I felt awful at some points during the race, but I also proved that I CAN push myself through the suffering that might pop up and finish STRONG and feel AMAZING after crossing the finish line...I almost forgot! They even called my name over the loudspeaker when I crossed the finish!! Woo-hoo, that makes me famous right?

I also had an extra cool ending to a great day of PRing, time with Jenna, sun and new clothes....Tripp was finally home from racing Nacra Worlds and the Dutch Open out in the Netherlands doing this craziness (he had some good races too!! 8th in Nacra Worlds and 7th in the Dutch Open - out of 88 boats!):

Yes that is my man...he rocks, I know :)

How do you deal with hotter than expected race conditions?

All I knew to do was take as much water as I could get down at every chance they had water...still felt overheated and drained though...

What is your strategy for water stations?

I usually fold the cup at top and try to dump as much as I can in my mouth and then dump the rest over my head...I don't know if I feel bad ass when I do that, or truly believe it cools me down...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Re-Cap: Valentine's ideas, new mode of recycling and discounts at Lululemon?!

So this weekend seemed really really long, but I am pretty excited about that, because I was having an incredible time the whole while!

Friday I celebrated the end of the workweek and an surprisingly awesome 6:30 AM run with a little movie date with the lovely Emma, her bf and her roomie...we enjoyed some white wine, homemade cheesecake (her roommate is a genius in the kitchen), Toy Story 3 and a little chocolate lovin!
So this would be the perfect snack/dessert/awesomeness at any time, but if you jazz it up like I took the liberty of doing for all my viewers, it makes a fantastic date night or Valentine's Day treat! Stacy's cinnamon pita chips warmed in oven and topped with strawberries (leftover from dessert Thursday night) and melted chocolate pieces and some whipped cream to boot!
I also spent Friday night praying that my sneakers would be runnable for the 10k I had on the books for Sunday morning...but after all of the rain we have been having (remember the drenching they received Wednesday?) they were a scary state of soggy....
Yes, another great way to recycle your old mags and newspapers is stuffing your soaking wet sneaks with their pages and letting them do their absorbing magic to dry out your shoes!
After a fantastic movie night with and treats, I got in bed scary early for a Friday night, resting up for my early AM hair appointment and day on the town with roomie Jenna.

Saturday started with a hair appt (nothing too spectacular to show) and then I rushed home to finish my laundry and meet up with roomie Jenna so we could check out the "Let's Talk About Food" festival, that was being put on for the first time by Whole Foods and the Museum of Science.  The weather wasn't bright and sunny, but the rain did let up for the event and we had a really fantastic time! There were a ton of local farmers, and suppliers of local produce and goods signings with local good food and nutrition authors...luncheon tables that were themed around different health/food topics with experts to discuss any questions attendees might have (we sat at the "Let's talk about Seafood" table, because I have a slight seafood obsession, that Jenna knows so well). Here are some photographic highlights of the event!
 There were also food trucks galore, with way too many lunch choices to go through, but Jenna and I narrowed it down to BBQ and a brand new truck to Boston, The Dining Car...we split a pork and roumalade sandwich and a pulled chicken sandwich....both were great pics!
Each table had a different planted herb centerpiece, super cute and thoughtful!
We were at the event for a couple of hours and then headed back home to get ready for the evening...Jenna was going to Dispatch and I was going to bed :)  With my last minute10k in the morning, I wanted to get in a good pre-race pasta meal (one of my pre-race staples), put out my outfit for the morning and get into bed early.

Sunday was unbelievably productive and packed for me! I woke up at the ripe time of 5:20 AM and began getting ready for the race (full recap in next post!) and headed to the race start.  It was a really humid day and there weren't as many people as I would have expected, but I got my bib and T-Shirt, met up with some friends, and ran a pretty great race!
Good news is...I finished :)
Right after crossing the finish line, I re-fueled on gatorade and bananas and I rushed back to the T to meet up with Jenna for Day 2 of Boston fun! We started out with some pilated on the greenway in the North End.  It was a celebration of teacher Jennifer Phelan's one-yr teaching anniversary, so it was a complimentary 45 minute pilates class complete with giveaways (no I didn't win).  It was a really fantastic experience to be outside with almost 100 other people practicing pilates...she is a great teacher, the weather was perfect and it was a good stretch after my race!
Wow my arms need some toning...what am I doing with all my strength training? Yes I did do an impressive outfit change on my yoga mat in that group of people...talent people, talent (btw - notice the new shades and active em...oh yeah!)
Jenna and I took a pit stop at home to wash the salt off of my face (two workouts in 2 hours in the get the picture) and then it was back out on the town! We stopped by Lululemon for an athlete's playground, really!  She needed to pick up some crops she had altered and in the meantime she convinced me to "reward" myself (I may or may not have accomplished something during the race...stay tuned) with a new running outfit....I usually avoid this store, because my wallet refuses to pay the prices, but today I splurged...and to make it a little easier on my wallet, Jenna told me about a really cool program Lulu is hosting, in order to get quality feedback on their running line they are actively promoting.  The program is called R2D, and it is available for any qualified Lulu shopper that is buying an item from the "Run" collection and is currently signed up to run a race 10K or longer.  What do you get for signing up for such a promotion?! 15% EVERY item with "Run" in the name!! I just had to show a confirmation of my race (I showed them the Amica Newport marathon confirmation, just to secure my level of commitment) and now I wear the clothes and give feedback via their website on how I feel when running in the clothes and race in them...easy as 1, 2, 3, run!

Today is back to the Monday morning grind...nothing exciting to see there folks...
Did you have an active weekend? Are you feeling it today?

I had a very productive and active weekend and I am a bit tired and sore today! But it feels good to know I got some healthy and fun activities in!

Do you have any good ideas for toning upper body? 
(my arms are strugging in the toning/definition dept!!)

How do you dry out your running shoes when they have been through puddles, waterfalls and beyond?!

I was told during field hockey, to shove newspaper pages in the shoes to absorb the moisture...I must admit, it works wonders...but keep in mind the level of soaked the shoes are...if they are like mine and pouring water out when flipped upside down, allow for at least two days (and make sure to re-plenish fresh pages once or twice a day).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lobster and trails!

Workout Today: 5.1 miles on Minuteman Trail, ran with new group 45:05 (includes stopping to make sure we weren't lost and wait up for rest of group). Then quick weights session: 3 x 20 reps of upper body workout shoulders,abs,triceps & biceps. Some squat and single leg squats. Stretching.
So yesterday I left you all waiting in suspense for what I chose to bring to dinner last night....well, you can wait a few more moments (or scroll down if you are super impatient) because I am going to discuss my first foodie love...I will give you a hint...
Lobsters, it is true...they started my seafood obsession at much too young of an age, and it is an expensive love, now that the rents aren't footing the bill!

Last night was another story though, as soon as I saw this subject line enter my inbox:

"Thursday Night Dinner Returns - Lobsterfest"

I immediately opened, didn't quite read, and replied a prompt YES! I am so happy I did, because I have been craving it since my indulgence a couple weeks ago and Emma is a genius, plain and simple...Emma got the lobsters, and the rest of us pitched into the lobstah fund and brought the booze and sides (I brought dessert of course - second favorite meal).
On a quick side note...our group of friends tries to throw a Thursday night dinner party with various themes at least twice a month...and the staple at each and every one is...the pigs in a blanket :)

OK back to the star of the show....these babies
Whoa hot n' steamy, just the way I like em!
Much better...we played with enjoyed these guys thoroughly!

And then we topped off our overflowing bellies with some of this deliciousness (could I toot my own horn any more?)
Strawberry Shortcake of thee best summer desserts ever and a summer staple for me for sure! (in all honesty, the biscuit wasn't too awesome - I didn't have my professional biscuit baker Tripp home to help me not screw it up, but what can ya do...soak it in tons of strawberry juicy goodness and dig in - that's what!)

After shoving the last bit of strawberry and whipped cream in my mouth, I had to jet early (is 9:30 still considered early? I don't think so) go to bed...woops!

In my defense, I had a plan this morning that I really didn't want to miss and I needed a good 7 hours (would have liked more, but I also love my friends...and lobster). In my last post, I wrote about needing motivation to get out and run, and running partners are the perfect thing...

My motivation dip usually hits me around the end of the week, when I know I could go for a run or sleep in on Friday, or go for a run or go out to get drinks after work.  Cue the LuluLemon ambassador gods, one of the most recent additions to the ambassador listing is a friend I ran my first relay with last year and an amazing runner and running coach, Kristina - she is now leading a LuluLemon endorsed 5-mile trail run every Friday morning through the month of July!! 

This was awesome news to me, because when I knew I was going to accidentally sleep in this morning, I had other plans instead! The only tidbit to mention is that this is at 6:30 AM, 30 minutes away, and I need to be awake to drive there (or so the law says) - so yes that means 5:30 AM wake-up (5:45 after snooze a million couple times)!!! If you know me, you know I do not get up at that hour unless there is a race to get to.  This morning was different though...I jumped out of bed (after my 5 million snoozes) got ready super fast and jetted to Lexington (extra incentive, it is down the street from my gym and office).  I didn't know what to expect, but was happily surprised with a nice little group of runners, a fabulous (well a little muddy because Mass is having a rain issue lately), soft, not too hilly trail run :) 
Source: (didn't have a camera with me)
I will definitely be back next Friday, and as long as I am not away for regattas, I will try to make it every Friday through July!  And you know what? If you live in the Boston area...I think you should go too :) It really is a great location with great people, and an awesome sponsor (LuluLemon Burlington Mall edition).
What is your favorite meal ever, doesn't have to be seafood?

I LOVE lobster and gooey chocolate brownies...

Do you have any good trail runs near you?

I didn't think so, but I sense a slight trail obsession that might be coming on....

How do you motivate in the morning to get moving?!

If I know I won't get another chance that day to workout, if I got a lot of rest the night before, if I am meeting someone else to do something and therefore feel obligated to not stand them up :)

Riding Solo: the running debate of late

So I just went through a classic running debate with myself lately, and was inspired by Julia's post on Running Solo or Socially to re-evaluate my running partner situation.
First ever Relay Team, Redeye Running finishing the Cape Relay 2010
I have always been one to run on my own, and probably my own fault, as I don't try as hard as I could to coordinate runs or follow through with conversations with others to set up running dates.  However, a couple of months ago, as you might have seen, I joined the LUNA Chix Boston Run team and now have a consistent group of awesome ladies to run with on my calendar at least once a week.  I also have found enjoyment in running with a few friends that I hadn't normally run with regularly before, but am still running solo most days out of the week.  I like this though, because I can focus my energy on the workout at hand (as I am really chatty when I have a buddy to run with and don't necessarily push as hard) and blow off some steam from the day.
No-one to jump through puddles and run 7 miles in a downpour with :/
Running solo does however have some major drawbacks, such to motivate you to get out of bed in the morning to get in your scheduled running workout, no-one to answer the questions and listen when you are talking incessantly to yourself, no-one to push you that last mile or two that makes you want to stop and walk.
No fun walking it in alone...
This morning, thanks to Kristina (a new LuluLemon ambassador and friend I met through my first relay last year), I started running with a new running group (nothing official and ends at the end of July, sigh...but more on that later) and it was such a fantastic motivation, great conversations, and a nice new trail to run on! Bonus points for being close to work and gym (people in the office look at me funny when I don't shower after running and avoid my cube area all together).  I loved all 5.1 miles of this and it made me realize, I really like running with people, it is so much more fun than running alone and suffering through those last few steps to stretch and re-collect myself on my own!
Just a few of the Luna ladies
So, after having this realization, I had a quick panic, as I had just signed myself up for a 10K on Sunday, for the first time ALONE! Good news is, I recruited a few good Samaritans to help out a lonely solo racer, and I should have a couple familiar faces at the start line...phew! (BTW - if you are running the BAA 10K this Sunday, let me know, I would love to meet up with everyone I can!).

BTW, it is also more motivation to look hot when running with others, so if you haven't already, you definitely go check out Janea's workout gear Giveaway and try to win me  you some new running capris!!

Do you like to run solo or partnered up?

I am liking running with people lately, and I think even more when those long runs kick in on the marathon plan!

Have you tried out any local running groups or teams?

I joined the LUNA chix this year, and now I am going to try to get to this Friday morning trail run, even if it is only through July...sigh - the groups give you a sense of anxiousness of who is going to be there, as well as great motivation to not let down the others counting on  you to show up!

Do you try harder to look even slightly put together when running with others?

I try to leave the smelly or stained shirts at home, but I honestly rotate my bottoms so much (I really need to win Janea's giveaway :) ) that I kind of just base a shirt off what fits well (as in literal fit, not stylish fit) with those bottoms.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Build up is good

Workout (yesterday): 7.2 miles with Emma for LUNA community run (2 there, 3.2 with group, 2 back) 1:03 
(today): speed workout!! warm up (5 min), 8 x 400s at 6:30 pace w/ 400 recoveries, cool down w/ side shuffles - 5.12 miles (45 min).
Not the icky kind (yes I just used the word icky, fail), but the positive gradual increase of something, or as likes to put it:
(I am talking about #'s 3 - 5 if you didn't get the classy yellow circling)

Just as with most things in life, it isn't always the smart (or safe) choice to go all in on something, things like exercise, diet and smart choices take baby steps, that build up to an ultimate goal (5lb. weight loss, sub-3 hour marathon, exercising more regularly).  Although I have been known to dive into a couple things both feet in, eyes closed, breath held...I have learned to incorporate baby steps into each aspect of life...base-building for my marathon training (to avoid burning out or injury before the race), taking more lunch breaks, walking and resting more...

One of the biggest build ups to a goal I think I have am close to accomplishing, way before this blog ever popped into my brain, is my anxiety issues.  I would work myself up into such a tizzy (I am a winner with the word choices today) I would go into asthma/anxiety attacks, so bad that at times I would actually end up sidelined from games, in an ambulance after a dance, sitting on the floor of the bathroom in tears...whether it was nerves, excitement, or anger - I could not control it, and when it hit me, I was inconsolable...

When I was in school still, I started to work on this harder than I ever had before, and I thought it would be easy as breathe 1, 2, 3 times...I learned that it isn't that easy, and I needed to work on different techniques that fit my mind and body (sound similar to exercise or diet?).  I started with baby steps, acknowledging a game without issues and what I did to control my feelings, making it to work without screaming at the innocent car sitting in the same traffic next to me...It has taken me a few years...but I now know how to talk myself down from those negative places a lot clearer than I have ever been able to before (remember my love of "Es lo que hay?").

I know I talk a lot about finding a healthy balance for you, and your mind and body, and this anxiety piece is a great step in the right direction to building up to my balanced and healthy mind and body...not saying I am there yet, but through baby steps I am building up to a great place.

Today was a great test to dealing with anxiety as I tried to get to the gym early, but was stopped in my tracks by this:
Horrific traffic and I hadn't even left Boston....
And my first reaction was this:
Not too jazzed about sitting at a stop still for 25 minutes so early
As soon as I realized I was feeling the anxiety creep up, I re-routed my emotions and thoughts, and realized I was stuck in a great place to re-route my way to the gym! I could take a different route that was moving and I was right next to! I spun the negative thoughts into a positive alternative...

Anyways, that was my emotional spew for the day...onto other things, like this awesome last minute meal made with yesterday's rice mix :)
Tangy lemon rice, re-fried beans, stir-fried veggies, spices, fresh avacado
Or this fantastic shot of Emma and I after our soggy, rained soaked (but still great) 7 mile run for LUNA night :)
notice the shiny legs and shirts sticking to body....well maybe just the shiny legs :)
Or this sneak peak into what I am bringing to a lobster dinner party tonight :) (don't worry, I understand how jealous you may be of the lobster and/or the's ok, I don't blame you)

Happy Thursday everyone...take a second to look at the different things in your lives you are building up to!

What goals are you working to build up to right now?

marathon training, anxious tendencies, the right food portions (that is a tough one for me sometimes)

Do you like running in the rain?

normally I dread it, but last night it was a warm rain and we all felt like kids being able to jump in puddles again (you know it is slightly frowned upon to jump in the puddles outside your office building...bummer)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Guilty as Charged, but still a bit successful

Workout: 55 minute boot camp, 30 minute elliptical (3.14 miles - slow for a leg recovery after boot camp), 15 minutes stretching (I will be happy tomorrow).
So after I was so excited about today being the first day of summer, and how gorgeous it was outside, you wouldn't believe me that I spent my evening in the gym, indoors instead of the shining glory that was the evening sky.

Next week I plan on starting my marathon plan, and I want to get into a good habit of not skipping my cross-training days (even if the sun is tempting me like the siren it is to me)! So I am guilty as charged for working out indoors, but my body was happy I pushed through the boot camp and even fit in some lighter cardio on the elliptical as a cool down :)
Rockin' the new Active Band - it really works wonders!
On the way home, I contemplated power yoga (as I only have a couple days left to use my BuyWithMe coupon I had for Karma Yoga Studio) but I realized not only had I taxed my body enough for today, without adding a yoga boot camp to the mix, but I was really hungry and it was already 7:20 (I am making a conscious attempt to eat dinner a little earlier)...

So I went straight home for a shower, to unwind, and to make up a fabulous new rice recipe (had to jazz up my grilled tofu and asparagus leftovers!) So here you are...

Tangy Lemon Soy Rice

4 cups brown rice (cooked)
2 T scallions (chopped)
1 1/2 T fresh mint (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 tsp. sesame oil 
1 T soy sauce
1/2 T rice vinegar
1/2 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 lemon 
salt & pepper to taste

While the rice is cooking (I used a 10 minute rice in a bag so it was quick), wash and chop your ingredients separately. Brown the chopped garlic in the sesame oil and set aside. 
 When rice is done, squeeze the 1/4 lemon into the rice and then mix in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper (it will be a little tangy because of the lemon and vinegar, so careful with too much salt).

Place exciting yummy rice next to not so exciting leftovers, and enjoy!!
This was the perfect recovery meal, as the tofu and brown rice provide some good protein, whole grain carbs, detoxifying lemon, and nutrient rich green veggies :)  Now let's just hope my push-up punished shoulders think so tomorrow morning!

P.S. I had such a success tonight at boot camp - it was my second time (and I have been doing this same one for over a year and a half now) completing an entire push-up challenge!! What is a push-challenge? It is a ladder starting at 1 and ending with 10, real (no knee) push-ups where you "rest" in plank for the same count as the number of push-ups you just completed.  To finish the challenge, you have to make it to 10 without putting your knees down or pushing your butt (think downward dog) and I did it!!! Maybe those 50 a day are paying off (if only I could keep them up!)

Do you feel guilty when you go to the gym and it is gorgeous outside? How do you get over that feeling?

I always do, and I usually skip the gym and go running outside, but I need to work on keeping my cross-training habits or I will burn out on running everyday during training...

What is the most creative ingredients you have thrown in your rice sides?

I love making cold rice and dried cherry salads, they are definitely the most extravagant and with summer, here, I will have to get all the ingredients together and share that recipe as well!

Summer Lovin', active bands and sunnies!

Workout (Yesterday): 4.35 mile run (32:20) and 0.40 mile walk (home from CVS as run cool down)
So Happy First Day of Summer (officially at 1:16 PM)!! If you must know, summer is my favorite favorite favorite (I could keep saying it, but I won't bore you) time of year! The weather is warm and sunny most days of the season, beaches occupy most of my weekends (thank you Tripp for being such an avid sailor), vodka lemonades, sangria and margs are staples on a hot day, not treats (in moderation and with lots of H2O), and I am happier than ever thanks to overdoses of Vitamin D :)

Another thing I love about summer? The light and refreshing eats that come with the season, and that I crave!
I also get to grill outside every night possible (dream house will have an indoor and outdoor grill, please and thank you) - such as last night's entirely grill cooked dinner:
Grilled seasoned aspargus, grilled soy/ginger/garlic tofu, grilled sweet potato fries
Additionally, lunches are not so bland with fresh, local produce filled summer salads!!
spinach w/ carrots, red pear, sugar snap peas, cukes, seeds & raisins, red pepper and scallion - topped with grilled tofu and smoked salmon :) Also some yummy bing cherries (love these!) for dessert
Some other things I am lovin' this summer so far are some new treats that crossed my path today!!

My first attempt at OOIAJ (overnight oats in a jar) which I adopted from Tina's recipe over at Carrots N Cake! They are a great way to still have oatmeal in the morning, but keeping it cool :)
oats, ezekial cinn raisin whole sprouted cereal, flax, cinnamon, ginger powder, all spice, more raisins, vanilla almond milk all in a natural pb jar with fresh banana, blueberry and strawberries on top!
I really didn't enjoy them....
Totally J/K - these made my morning drive to work and it was so nice to just open the jar, pop in some fresh fruit and run out the door!

I also received both of these awesome summer running accessories in the mail!!
My new Active Band! Love it already ran in it last night!
LOVING the Active Band - this thing actually stays put! I was tentative to buy it, because headbands and I don't have a good track record (buy, falls off, forget about it, buy...vicious cycle) I love it, and it beats always wearing a hat to keep the whispies out of the eyes! It also seems like it would be super cute for work or play.  I am really happy with this purchase and hope I get to grow my collection a little more soon!
Smith Optics Parallel - already wore them around the office, fit like a glove and can't wait to try them out on the roads and write up a review!!
Happy Summer everyone - go out and enjoy the sunshine if you are in Boston area!!

P.S.  Is anyone planning on running the B.A.A 10K this Sunday (June 26th)? I want to sign up, but I am running alone and would LOVE some support!!
What is your favorite (or least favorite) thing about summer?

I honestly have too many to list, in short: beach, sun, good food and drinks, lots of friends time, longer days and warmer nights!

Are you running the B.A.A 10K this Sunday? Do you want to run with me?!

I am planning on running - but right now I am riding S-O-L-O

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back in Boston and it feels so good...and Dad's day recap

I finally made it back to Boston, after almost an entire week on the road - San Diego for 5 days and Western Mass for 2.5.  I am tired and a little lathargic, but I am miraculously still trying to get in a jog or a walk tonight, something short and sweet to get the legs moving again!

As I mentioned yesterday, I Flew into Hartford, CT to go see my Grammy first, as it was her birthday on Saturday and the ladies were having a brunch in her honor (ok, they always have Sunday brunch, but this one had not 1 but 2 delicious cakes!)
I had sugar overload yesterday, because besides the cakes, look at this massive brunch spread!!
lots of fresh fruit, a bunch of donuts, 2 quiches, italian cookies, chocolate chip muffins, and i was sitting in front of the two platefuls of bagels and cream cheese!!
Digesting time looked a lot like sunning by the pool, reading some runners world, taking in some more sun and  then grocery shopping at Randall's for massive amounts a few staples of local, fresh produce :)

Mom, lil sis and I headed home to cook yet another feast for the man of the day, Dad :) So onto the second festivity for the day we went, Father's Day...
Dad beaming at my Bentley Grad school graduation are who I get some of my best (and a few of my not so best) traits from, you have stood by me when it seemed many others wouldn't, you have been a father, a supporter, a friend, a put-me-in-liner (thank you for that one, seriously) a coach, a shoulder to cry on, a reason to keep trying harder and accomplishing more...I am so happy and lucky to have you in my life - I love you, Happy Father's Day (on Marquis time a day late :) ).

So how did we celebrate this great guy?! With another feast of course :) Just a few photos of the yumminess that ensued (sorry for any vegetarians - I spared you the pictures of me actually eating these monsters - it wasn't pretty).
Man of the day and some good eats & good wine

Ciabatta bread, grilled veggies (zucchini, summer squash, red pepper, mushrooms), Lamb Chops, pesto fun pasta (no idea what the name is, but really fun shape/texture)
 And of course...dessert :) Yes this is the third cake of the day if you were counting...
Friendly's Thin Mint Ice Cream Cake
Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day, weekend, and Manic Monday :)

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?

I was traveling, traveling, visiting friends, traveling, visiting family, and some more traveling - so not super exciting, exhausted would be the better word!