Monday, February 27, 2012

My 7 Mile Training Run - Thanks to You!

Okay, first let me say THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my last post where I cried out asked for advice.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate  your help and I loved reading about why and how you do things.  I learned a lot that I am attempting to put into practice, starting today.

I have decided that while we are doing this half marathon training, and our runs are starting to get longer,  that I need to be way more careful about what I am eating... that I need to concentrate on food as FUEL, and to give up the JUNK!

Today we had a 7 mile run on the training schedule and I was kinda nervous about it.  I did an 8 mile run in September and since then, 6 miles has been the longest. Last night I sat down and mapped us out a 7 mile route and even though the last 3/4 mile would be uphill, I thought it would be quite enjoyable. In this neighborhood, no matter which way we head out, coming back is always uphill!

I  decided that we should run after lunch today, as it has been cooler the past couple of nights and I wanted to be out in the warmest part of the day, which was promised to be about 3C (38 - 40F, I think).... and a bit breezy, but sunny.

This morning I made sure that we had a good breakfast.  I cooked oats and added vanilla protein powder to them... then served Chobani Greek yogurt and nut butter on top, with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Almond Butter for me, chunky PB for him

At 11:30 I made lunch... home make potato and leek soup with crumbled bacon and Chobani Greek yogurt stirred in, a small grilled cheese sandwich, some grape tomatoes and a glass of fat free milk. Then about 20 minutes before we got our shoes and jackets on to head out the door, I got The Captain to share a nuun with me.  And I prepared another to pack along in my water belt.

I was determined not to overdo today.  I have learned that I should not be trying to run faster and longer at the same time, during the same run.  So I told The Captain that today would be a long SLOW run and that if he felt he needed to walk at all, it was all right with me.  I would not be running faster than I felt comfortable with and that I hoped not to need any walk breaks.  I wanted to wear my HRM to give me some backup on this pacing thing, but the battery on the chest strap was dead so that didn't pan out.  I knew though that I could just keep an eye on my watch if I needed.

So, off we went, down the hill and onto a familiar stretch of trail... then we took a turn onto a different section... one that we biked in the Fall, but have never run.  It is a very gentle downhill and we got to the turnaround point in 40 minutes.  I was feeling pretty good and The Captain had only walked a short way once or twice.  We chatted quite a bit and that is a good sign to me that we are running slow.

At the turnaround point, we started sharing the nuun that I was carrying.  We kept the same pace for about a mile and then I began to slow down a little, as the uphill started to get a bit more taxing.  But I was feeling good and The Captain was not complaining.  With about a mile to go, and most of it a steeper uphill slope, I was still feeling good... and I sprinted the last block to our corner. 

We finished the nuun as we walked up the steep hill to the house and I was pretty excited.  We had run out in 40 minutes, and back in 44 which resulted in 12 minute miles overall.  I would have been happy with 13 minute miles today and the BEST part was, I still had lots of energy left.  I felt I could have gone a lot further.

W3 R84 W4 no walk break

We came into the house and changed into dry clothes and drank some water while I made us each a smoothie from a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a banana.  We drank those while we stretched..... and I stretched for 10 whole minutes today where normally I have been stretching only 5 minutes.  (Stretching was a recurring theme in the advice I was lucky to be given.)

All of a sudden my right calf started cramping up, and so I put some relaxant gel on it and it helped right away... and then my feet started to cramp a bit too.  The Captain had me drink 2 more glasses of water and I put on some sneakers and walked around till the cramps let up.  Odd, very odd.

Then I had a hot bath!  And just laid in it and relaxed... and it was wonderful... and then after I dried I put a Recovery sock on my left leg, and my Tommie Copper calf sleeve on my right leg, and have been feeling good but tired ever since.

Dinner was pasta with meatballs and lots of veggies, with some fruit and Greek yogurt for dessert.

I have decided that:
  • eating more protein throughout the day has stopped the sugar cravings and made me less hungry overall 
  • drinking nuun before the run as well as during, helped me feel better during and after the run and more energetic, and I wasn't thirsty once
  • I need to stretch for at least 10 minutes after a run
  • I do need to eat some protein within half an hour after I run and will be experimenting with protein powders, eggs and egg whites
  • When I run longer, I am going to be tired and my muscles are going to need  more time to recover
  • I need to keep my feet warm and supported after I run.  I should wear shoes not slippers.
  • Asking other runners for help and advice is the best thing for me to do when I have concerns and doubts.
So a 7 mile run under my belt and now I am very excited and eager to keep going with our training.  And I am gonna sleep like a log tonight!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Week 8 Training Done - Would Love YOUR Advice!

Week 8 of my half marathon training is in the bag!  And it was a good week in many ways... not so good in others.

Normally we have been doing our long runs on Saturdays, but last Saturday the weather was awful. It poured rain all day till well into the afternoon... by then it was too late to get in the scheduled 6 miles, so we did only 2.  Not wanting to forego that 6 miler altogether, we moved it to Monday.

So, Monday we did a 10k (6.2 miles) to take part in Grandma Lill's 95th Birthday virtual race.

Then on Wednesday it was quite windy so we did a 5km loop through the neighborhood instead of the 3 mile route that is more exposed to weather.

And today, there was a 7 miler on the schedule... but again, due to weather and some sniffles (both of us) I have postponed it to Monday.  I just don't think there is any point stressing our immune systems any more than necessary... better to rest a bit and stay warm, load up on zinc and vitamin C,  and then see what Monday brings.  Today we ran the same 5 km route as Wednesday, but in the opposite direction.

All in all a good week and I am happy that:
  • my legs are getting noticeably stronger and more muscular
  • I am abe to run faster on shorter runs
  • I am building mental toughness
  • I am looking forward to the runs
But I am concerned about:
  • a constant craving for sweets even when I am not hungry
  • leg soreness after long runs during the evening and night when I am sleeping
This week I tried and had good success with:
  • using a nuun tablet in my water for hydration during the 10km run.  Next long run I am going to have half a tab before heading out and then taking more along in my water for during.
  • wearing my Recovery Socks for several hours on Monday after the 10 km run and I think that is the key for me... keep the legs warm and supported.
  • wearing my Tommie Copper calf sleeve during the night when cramping appears. I wish I had a pair of them!
  • making sure to rehydrate after runs, stretching, eating bananas, and taking my supplements... I do believe that all helps the legs.
I am going to sit down today and do some menu planning for the week to make sure I am getting enough protein in my days' eats. This last week I just tried to eat more overall but that is just not cutting it. I want to eat cookies and chocolate all evening! 

Usually after we run and have had a couple of glasses of water, I make us each a smoothie of some kind to sip while we stretch.

I put a whole banana into the blender jar, usually about half a cup of some kind of milk (Almond Breeze, fat free cow's milk, Coconut Dream) or a partial scoop of protein powder and half a cup of water, some ground flax, or some chia seeds, and perhaps other fruit and cinnamon.

On Wednesday, I added raspberries to The Captain's smoothie...

And today, the only fruit was a banana...

Of course I would love any feedback that you have to offer!

Do your legs get sore after your longer runs?  What do you do about that to help them recover?

Do you use special RECOVERY foods or drinks or powders? Which ones would you recommend from your own experience?

Do you take supplements?  Which ones?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Running Divas You Made My Day!

I am such a happy woman today!

We went to our marina town to check on the boat... she sits fairly neglected during the winter months so I packed us a lunch and off we went.  It is a beautiful, sunny day and it is always nice to be at the marina when the weather is good.  We did a bit of cleaning and had our lunch on board, and then stopped to check our mail box before coming back to the house.

There was a parcel from Running Divas in the mail box and I was so excited because I knew what would be inside... and I was not disappointed!

I could hardly wait to get back to the house and put on this beautiful shirt.

And doesn't it go great with my baggy old Eddie Bauer jeans too?

Here is the story...

Several weeks ago I entered and was the lucky winner of a giveaway hosted by Jenn's Adventures.  The prize was a Running Divas shirt of my choice.  I quickly selected this gorgeous long-sleeved aqua shirt and waited....

When my package arrived, I was happily surprised to find 2 shirts inside... one long-sleeved black one and one short-sleeved aqua one.  I realized that they likely didn't  have the shirt that I wanted in stock, so they tried to fill my request as best they could... and although I really liked both of those shirts and I do wear them regularly, I was kinda disappointed.  Aqua is my color and I was so looking forward to having the long-sleeved aqua shirt for my half marathon training runs. 

So, I waited for a couple of weeks, and then I sent an email note to Running Divas to say thank you for making the effort to fulfill my request, but letting them know I would still like to have the long-sleeved aqua shirt.... and lo and behold, much to my delight, they offered to send it to me.

And here it is!

 happiness is
                measured out

             in miles and

            miles and


These Running Divas shirts are made of the softest microfiber.  They wash up beautifully and dry quickly.  And the long-sleeved shirts have really long sleeves.  I am 5 feet 11 inches tall and normally cannot get a shirt with long enough sleeves... but just look at these pictures to see how well my wrists are covered... this is so important to me when the weather is cool.

Thanks so much to Running Divas for making my day!

You can be a Running Diva too... check out their website to find out if there is a retail outlet carrying their products in your area, or buy online.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Following other blogs is about to get a bit more complicated for me I think.

I currently use Google Reader to add blogs to my own blog sidebar and follow updates there.  I use the Blogger feature that allows me to have the blog name come up with the title of the latest post, and it also shows me how long ago the post was published, ALL in chronological order, newest first.   I like this feature a lot and it saves me from having to use Google Reader to look at the posts.  It also showcases the blogroll for other people to see and perhaps find a new blog to read, too.

I am not sure yet if the blogs I have added manually are going to disappear from that list when Google Friend Connect disappears for non-Blogger bloggers on March 1st or not.  Very confusing right now !

As for my own blog followers, I have decided to have a closer look at Linky Tools For Followers.

It is a very new tool and I am going to give it a try - I know that some of the rest of you are going to try it too so I hope we can share some ideas and tricks and tips.

First of all, it is free.

It is is an easy sign up process.

It is easy to add the widget to your blog, too.

And it is going to be a good tool for me to connect with my followers... much easier than GFC has been.  And easy for me to verify who actually IS a follower as I do require that on my giveaways.

So if you are going to LINKY, then let's get together and exchange some ideas and tips and quirks about the software.

Here is one I have found already.... 

When you sign up one of the things that it asks you to do is type some text that you want displayed when a viewer's mouse hovers over your avatar on their LINKY FOLLOWERS tool. It can be up to 49 characters.

I currently have 5 followers and only recognize one of them.  I do know her name and her blog because I read it regularly but it would be better for me, if I could  mouse over her pic and see her name and/or blog name. I love the invite she has extended to follow her blog, but would love it if she would say who and where.

If you look at my LINKY FOLLOWERS tool on the right sidebar, have your mouse hover over the various avatars. You will see the text that the user (follower) has decided to display.  It is really helpful if it is a name and/or a blog name just in case you do not recognize the avatar or photo.

There is also a LINKY FOLLOWER BLOG DIRECTORY so you can find out which of your already-favorites are using the new LINKY FOLLOWER tool.

Are you going to use LINKY FOLLOWER?

Do you think that the diappearance of GFC is going to affect you?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

7 Weeks Training Done Now... and Blood Oranges

We have completed 7 weeks of our half marathon training schedule and so far it has gone quite well.  A couple of little hiccups along the way, but for the most part we are getting the runs in.  And, I am enjoying the confines of running according to a schedule.
I have noticed that my legs are getting more muscular and leaner.  I know I am going to be very happy about that when the weather warms up and I transition back to running shorts and skirts.

And I am hungrier! I was warned to expect this side effect but until I experienced it, wasn't quite sure how hard it would hit.  I need to find some ways to  make more satisfying meals instead of just eating more snacks at night.  I am going to do some menu planning today.

I am struggling with hydration.  I have had some good advice about making sure to drink more water throughout the day.  Normally I drink tea all day but not much water during these cooler months and I need to do that.  So I am now putting water in a container on the counter in the morning, and making sure I drink it before noon, and then refilling it and making sure I drink that before dinner. 

I am also going to start carrying water on any runs I do over 3 miles in length.  And I am going to start experimenting with using nuun this week too, during the run.  I had planned to use nuun in the water bottle during a 6 mile run yesterday, but it didn't happen.  The rain was coming down so hard I thought it would be silly to go out and get cold and wet and take the chance of getting sick, so we did a speedy 2 miles when it finally let up late afternoon. 

The 6 miles will become 6.2 miles (10k) on Monday and I will try the nuun then.

I am still doing some strength training and some core work each week too.  And when I look back at my notes, I see that I have had 2 rest days each week for the past 2 weeks.  I think I need to do some better workout scheduling as I don't really think I need that second rest day right now... maybe as the running mileage starts to increase this next few weeks I may go back to it again.

All in all I am happy with how things are progressing.  The shorter runs are getting faster and the longer runs are not killing me, yet!  I am trying to keep things interesting by varying our routes, and signing up for some virtual races as they come along, too.

This week I bought some blood oranges... have you ever tried them?  I have seen them but never tasted one, but the little produce market near us that I have come to love, had some cut for sampling yesterday so we both tried a piece and really liked them.

I bought 6 of them... and we just shared one after our pancakes this morning.

I am not sure what variety these are... they have a dark crimson centre and I can see that we are going to have to be careful with the juice.  It stains the rind of the orange and seemed to stain  my fingers too.  Did I see that Chobani is making a blood orange yogurt now?  I really have to get across the border this year to do some shopping!

Do you like to try new freggies?   What have you tried lately that you would recommend?

I love to try new fruits and vegetables and am always curious to read what people like and don't.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Virtual Race for Grandma Lill

HikerMom is sponsoring a virtual race that starts today, Grandma Lill's 95th Half-Marathon/10k.

You can run a half marathon along with her, or you can run a 10k instead.  The race can be run anytime between February 18th and 29th....  please read her post for all the details, and use her rafflecopter entry form for race and prize sign up.

Happy Birthday, Grandma  Lill!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Spring Fever Virtual Race

I just found out that Marissa is having a Spring Fever Virtual Race!  I am wondering what took me so long to figure it out... I thought I followed Let's Move it Mommas pretty faithfully. 

But, better, now than never so if you are interested in a virtual 5k or 10k the first week in March, with some fun prizes... get over there right now and get signed up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Breakfast and a Sparkly Soul Winner

Ah, what a Sweetheart!  The Captain presented me with a pancake breakfast this morning to say Happy Valentine's Day...

We are taking a drive up to our marina town later today to check on the boat... make sure the heater is still running on and off.... and to collect our mail.  Think I will pack us a little lunch and perhaps we can have a shore-side picnic while we are out.

Thanks to everyone who entered my Sparkly Soul giveaway.  The response was more than I expected and I am happy to have been part of this FitFluential promotion with Sparkly Soul.

The winner of 2 Sparkly Soul headbands, one narrow and one wide, in the colors of their choice, is Sara who blogs at Words to Run By.  If you get a chance, you really should check Sara's Valentine's Day post today.  Very sweet love story and beautiful pictures, too.

Congratulations Sara, I have your email address so I will email you and let you know how to select your headbands.

Sparkle on, and have a fun Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dehydration is no Fun

A couple of weeks ago, I had to have some tests at the hospital.  I was required to have nothing to eat or drink after 10 o'clock in the morning and the test was scheduled for 1:30 p.m.  It didn't happen till almost 4 p.m. and by that time, I was already showing signs of dehydration.

I had to have a needle inserted into a blood vein in my right arm so that I could have an IV drip attached to it, which would allow the doctor to administer some sedative as needed during the testing.  I don't know who felt worse during the insertion of the needle, me or the nurse who was doing it.  I normally have quite robust veins, but the dehydration made them rolly and uncooperative.  She had to make 2 attempts in diffferent parts of my arm, and then when I got into the examining room, a different nurse removed the second needle and made a third stab at me!

Dehydration is a serious medical condition... and I don't think I have experienced it quite that severely before.  I was light-headed, and dry eyed.  My mouth felt like it had cotton balls in it and I had trouble concentrating on anything for very long.  I sort of went from giddy to cranky and back and forth.  And that was after only 6 hours with no fluids, and not doing anything strenuous at all.

I was quite surprised to learn that it happened that quickly.

The Captain and I did a 3 mile run this morning and during the first 2 miles I felt strong and fast and was really enjoying it.  I felt like I was going to beat my best 3 mile time by about 3 minutes today!  And then I hit a wall. 

All of a sudden I was so thirsty I could hardly make myself keep going!  I tried to work up some spit in my mouth, unsuccessfully.  I wanted to stop and walk but kept pushing myself, thankful for The Captain's gentle prodding and encouragement.

I don't pack water on a 3 mile run. I have never needed it on a run that short.  But as I plodded along, I remembered that all I had to drink this morning was 2 cups of cofee, and hadn't thought to have a glass or two of water before we headed out running.  So, really very little fluid for about 12 hours before my run.  Big mistake! 

So the first 2 miles were speedy and wonderful and that third and last  mile was hard and slow, but all said and done, I still beat my time by 1-1/2 minutes - that much wanted PR was the thing that really kept me going.

W3 R34:30 @10/1 W4
stretch 5 minutes

I sat and drank 2 huge glasses of water after we got in the house before I even thought of stripping off my wet gear and stretching...

Lesson learned! Drink some water before heading out for a run.  I won't forget that again.

Have you eve experienced dehydration?

What is the longest run you do without carrying water?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Aren't We Cool Canucks, eh?

I first heard about Cool Canuck several months ago.  I read a review on a Canadian giveaway-blog that I keep an eye on occasionally. 

Cool Canuck is a Canadian company (Canadians are sometimes referred to as Canucks don't ya know), and is the first performance clothing company to utilize CoolCore’s innovative cooling fabrics in all of its apparel and accessories.

From their literature:

"This new fabric technology incorporates the use of water, thermoregulation, moisture wicking and moisture transport to deliver an instant cooling effect. Unlike other moisture wicking products in the market, our fabrics are NOT chemically treated. The cooling comes from the technology within the fabric. "

I am always interested in trying out new performance apparel and so when Cook Canuck offered to send a pair of shirts to me and The Captain, I readily accepted.

The men's tee is is very soft and the sizing is roomy.  The Captain normally wears a Medium or even a smallish Large, and you can see this Medium is square cut and boxy, and long.

The shirts are designed with a relaxed fit that allows for greater airflow and increased mobility.  The fabric has a pique knit texture and is snag resistant.

The ladies tee has a shallow V neck and some definitive girly shaping down the length of the body. It is very long so it covers the butt.  I am wearing a size Small and it fits perfectly.  I normally wear a Small, or maybe a Medium if I think I may need extra sleeve or body length. 

We have both worn these shirts while running and found the moisture-wicking properties to be exceptional.   And a few days ago, I wore mine during a fast paced, strenuous, sweaty weight training session, and my skin was definitely kept cool and dry by the moisture-collection nature of this special fabric.

According to Cool Canuck, cooling can be achieved in 2 ways:

Self-activation by perspiration: Dry garments are put on dry and allowed to naturally collect moisture through perspiration. As saturation levels increase, so does the cooling effect. The result is a gradual cooling process designed to keep the wearer cool and dry.

Pre-activation by soaking:
When instant relief from the heat is necessary, simply soak the garment in water then wring it out and wear it. By saturating the garment before activity, the cooling process begins right away. This method is ideal for quickly cooling the body’s temperature.      "

I wanted to try out the second method to see if it worked, but it is just not that warm here yet so I will be waiting till the weather man brings warmer temperatures before I conduct that experiment.  But, I can see how valuable this would be on a really hot day, during an activity of any duration ... a run, a bike ride, basketball game, tennis match, and so on.

Cool Canuck has several styles of shirts including a nice looking polo which would be great for golf or tennis. They are available in black or white.

And they also have an extensive line of cool cloths.  These are like towels and retain their cooling properties for up to 2 or 3 hours.  A cool cloth is activated by immersing it in water for a few seconds, wringing out excess water, and then snapping it in the air.  They also make some especially for pets.

I have a friend who used to wet a scarf and wrap it around her neck in the summer to cool herself while we were sailing... I think this would be the same sort of thing. 

So Cool Canuck gets a nod of approval from both me and The Captain.  Although we received the shirts at no cost to us, the opinions expressed are 100% our own.

Check the Cool Canuck web site to see where you can purchase these items for yourself.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We Ran For Sherry Arnold Today

A quickie post today... mine will be one of thousands today that are dedicated to Sherry Arnold... the woman who was abducted and murdered recently, while on an early morning run in Sidney, Montana.  Senseless, tragic, heinous, outrageous.... ultimately sad.

The Captain and I ran 4 miles this morning, and it was a scheduled Saturday run as part of our half marathon training.  It was somber and quite odd that even though I found the physical part of the run very difficult today, I ran my fastest 4 miles in several years.  I guess I was pushing it harder than I realized at the time. 
And I felt it needed to be hard today.  I wanted it to hurt.  I wanted to be exhausted and have my lungs burn and my legs ache... to match the hurt in my heart today.

May you rest in peace, dear Sherry Arnold.  We hope your family is somewhat comforted by the global outpouring of love and respect from the running community.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Out of my Comfort Zone Here...

I don't post recipes on this blog... I have a food blog as you know if you read this one with any regularity...  When I have something I want to share I normally just link to my food blog post and hope you go visit it.  But as my buddy Ali Mc says "Your blog is called EAT run sail" and that got me to thinking.

I came up with something this morning that I think is very special and so I am posting it here, hoping to share it with more of my friends.  This is the post I am going to be publishing on my food blog

on Monday, for Valentines Day.

It is fun to come up with something special for Valentine's Day... and this year, because it is on a Tuesday, special breakfasts are likely to fall by the wayside in favor of dinners and desserts.

Save this for the weekend if you don't have time to make it on a weekday morning..... but do give it a try. Somehow strawberries just ooze romance, and the rich, luscious Greek yogurt tops it all off with an air of decadence!

Strawberry Oatcakes
Makes 2 servings
  • 1/4 cup quick (not instant) oats
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 2 packets Splenda or dash of Stevia
  • 2/3 cup of Almond Breeze, vanilla unsweetened
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries, divided
  1. Wash, hull and chop fresh strawberries and set aside.( I used 6 medium strawberries.)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and sweetener.
  3. Add the Almond Breeze and stir to combine.
  4. Fold about 1/3 of the strawberries into the mixture.
  5. Preheat skillet and coat with non-stick spray.
  6. Use 1/4 of the batter for each oatcake. Pour enough batter for 1 cake into the skillet. Allow to cook about 2 minutes then flip and cook second side for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove and keep warm while you make 3 more oatcakes. Respray pan as necessary.
  8. Divide the cakes between 2 serving plates and top with syrup, yogurt and garnish with whole strawberries.
Per serving, including yogurt, but not syrup.
Weight Watchers P+ = 6.
Calories 258; Protein 14g; Carhohydrate 43g; Fat 3g; Fibre 6g.

Don't chop the strawberries so small that they will get lost in the batter.

Add the Almond Breeze to the combined dry ingredients...

and stir till mixed.

Then fold in a handful of chopped berries.

Cook each cake for a couple of minutes.

Then flip over and cook the second side.

Arrange them on plates...

top with Greek yogurt and more chopped berries...

whole berries and a bit of syrup, too.

And enjoy with your Valentine!

I made this for The Captain for breakfast this morning and he is still raving about it!  He thinks that the Chobani yogurt is better than ice cream, and this is really saying something as he is a huge ice cream fan.  I used fat free Plain, and sweetened it a bit, but Vanilla would be wonderful and so would Strawberry, of course!

What do you think? 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rainy Day Indoor Workout

We woke up to pouring rain today.  I was so glad we didn't postpone our 2 mile run yesterday in favor of doing it today.  It was threatening rain when when we went out yesterday and we almost put it off.  Dodged a downpour there!

I spent most of the morning cutting and chopping veggies to make a huge pot of soup, writing food blog post,s and doing laundry.  The rain didn't let up so after lunch I knew I would have to find an indoor workout to do. 

I looked through my workout DVDs and just didn't see anything that interested me today, so I tuned the tv to a show I wanted to watch, and did 30 minutes of aerobic dancing... just me and the tv and it was really fun.  I worked up a good sweat, and after drinking a huge glass of water, got out the dumbbells and did 20 minutes of strength training, too.

1.  With 8 lb dumbbells:
  • 3 sets of 10 reps each
    • bicep curls
    • tricep kickbacks
2.  With 5 lb dumbbells:
  • 3 sets of 10 reps each
    • lateral raises
    • overhead presses
  • 3 sets of 10 reps each
    • upright rows
    • delt raises
  • 3 sets of 10 reps each
    • frontal raises
    • rows
3.  A leg workout:
  • 20 alternating rear lunges
  • 10 squats with 5 lb dumbbells
  • side leg raises, 10 per leg
  • hamstring curls, 10 per leg
And then I did a good 5 minute stretch.

It felt really good to work hard and get sweaty, and I think tomorrow I will focus on some Core work as there is no running on the schedule until Saturday.

Do you like to make up your own strength workouts?

Ever do any impromptu aerobic dancing when no one is watching?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter 100 Challenge Update and My Running... Lately

Our half marathon training is going really well... at least I think it is as I really have nothing to compare to it!  I have been running just to run for so many years, with no set distances or goals, and so having a training schedule seems a little odd to me.

We are now in week # 6 and have been following the schedule pretty much as written.  There have been a couple of hiccups but no set backs.  On Monday this week we did our usual 3 miles and when I went to log it, I realized we are supposed to be doing a fall back week, and should only have run 2 miles.  Oops!

And today, we were scheduled to do 2 miles again so I used to find us a route in the neighborhood and off we went.  It was a pretty speedy little loop and we did it in 21.5 minutes without a walk break.... that is pretty fast for me, of late, and I was very pleased.

W3 R 21.5 W3
stretch 5 minutes

I am still logging miles for the Winter 100 Challenge sponsored by Kristen, who blogs at The Running Mom. 

The Challenge is to run 100 miles total during the  months of December, January, and February.  Initially it as was only running miles that counted but Kristen opened it up to include walking miles too.  So far I have run 73.59 miles and my run-walk combined mileage is 171.84

I just checked our training schedule and I am supposed to run 35 more miles before the end of February so it looks like I will make it!

Are you participating in the Winter 100 Challenge?

On Saturday we will be dedicating our 4 mile training run to Sherry Arnold.  I hope you will be able to participate in this virtual run, too. 

Print Your Bib for the Virtual Run Here

Are you going to be able to take part in Saturday's run?

Monday, February 6, 2012

PureFit Nutrition Bars Rate an A From Us!

I was given the opportunity to sample and review some PureFit bars recently... and I jumped at it quite willingly.  I am always up for trying out a new food product, particularly one I think is healthy and nutritious, and has the possibility of being delicious as well!

The Sample Pack of 5 bars arrived along with some information about the company and nutritional data on the bars...

"  PureFit nutrition bars are the #1 selling wheat, gluten, and dairy free high-protein nutrition bars on the market.  Kosher certified, vegan PureFit bars pack 18grams of protein, without the candy-bar like ingredients of our competitors.  PureFit bars do not contain hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners or sugar alchohols."

Berry Almond Crunch, Chocolate Brownie, Granola Crunch, Almond Crunch, Peanut Butter Crunch

These bars all contain about 220 calories, 18g Protein, 25g Carbohydrates and 7g Fat  and they are a balanced 40/30/30 which is Zone friendly for anyone who is looking for that in a bar.

The first opportunity to try them out came after our 6 mile run on Saturday afternoon.  We ran after a light lunch and I did carry water but no energy gels so we were both a bit hungry by the time we were finished and cooled down.

I offered to have The Captain share a bar with me while we stretched and drank some water, and I just knew he would choose the Berry Almond Crunch.. if there are raspberries available, that will always be  his first choice.

I opened the Berry Almond Crunch bar...

and cut it in pieces...

and we bit in!  Here is The Captain's reaction!

This bar has a really nice berry flavor... and you can see bits of raspberries and cranberries in it.  It is a bit soft, and chewy and quite flavorful.  We both really liked it and it put our hunger to rest for about an hour... not bad for half the bar each after a 6 mile run.

Then today, we did a 3 mile run about an hour and a half afer a light breakfast.  When we got back I cut into the Chocolate Brownie bar... I thought that it would be the one that really tell the tale, tastewise.  There are a lot of bad chocolate-flavored nutrition bars around and I was anxious to see if the PureFit bar would stand up to a chocolate lover's scrutiny.

Well, it looked like a chocolate brownie when I cut into it, and the ground almonds are a nice bonus... but how would it taste?

It gets a Thumbs Up from me!  And you know I would have to have really loved it to expose my shy, naked-faced, sweaty self to you in this way...  This Chocolate Brownie is hands down the best Chocolate Brownie nutrition bar I have ever had.  The chocolate flavor is great and the texture is very pleasing, too. The Captain even raved about it and he is not as big a chocolate fan as I am.

I can hardly wait till our next run to try another one of these bars.  And I will be keeping some in my glove box and in my purse, too, as I never go far without food!

PureFit bars can be purchased from their web site or by calling 1.866.PureFit
Use coupon code PROMO25 to receive 25% off your introductory order.

"Give yourself an all-natural boost with great-tasting, award-winning PureFit nutrition bars.  It's the first high-protein sports nutrition bar with no wheat, gluten or dairy, that doesn't melt in its packaging!  Vegan Approved and Kosher Certified."

I was given these bars to review and received no other compensation.  The opinions expressed are 100% my own.  The quoted text is from the PureFit promotional material that accompanied the bars.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary Dear Captain

Today is our 21st wedding anniversary.... yup. THAT many!  And it is hard to believe that it has been that many.

We got married at the Grand Floridian Hotel at Walt Disney World, Orlando.  There was just us, and a lovely Justice of the Peace, named Joy (who we are still in touch with regularly) and her favorite photographer, Richard.  He was our witness.

It was a very sweet ceremony on an outdoor deck at the hotel... The Captain dropped my ring and it rolled almost to the edge of the deck!  I tease him that he was trying to get out of the whole thing!

After the ceremony and all the pictures were done, we had a couple of glasses of wine and then just the 2 of us had the most wonderful dinner at Victoria and Albert's at the hotel.  Every table has a waitress called Victoria and a waiter called Albert.  Very romantic, and the food was to die for!

So fast forward 21 years and here we are, looking back on all these fun years of exploring and travel, and looking forward to the next chapter.  Some new adventures in the works for us this year.

We have beome a pair of nomads!  It doesn't really matter where we are, home is wherever we are together...

Friday, February 3, 2012

I am a Sparkly Soul, are You? Review & Giveaway

I cannot recall how many different Sparkly Soul headband giveaways I have entered over the past several months... and never won!  When I first saw them promoted on a few different blogs, they were worn by beautiful and active women, all sporting ponytails.  And I thought then that they would be great wrapped around up-dos and showing through short hair, too.  After all, gals with pony tails aren't the only ones who like a little sparkle in their hair!

When Michelle Williams sported a sparkly headband at the Golden Globe Awards last month, I knew I had been on the right track....

and lately one of our local new anchors has taken to wearing them around her pinned up long hair but darned if I can find a picture of her.

So, I was quite pleased when, as a FitFluential Ambassador, I was invited to be part of this month's Sparkly Soul headband promotion.

Today I received 2 headbands... a lovely narrow Ice Pink and an even lovelier and wider, Blue.

The Blue band is the same color as one of my light running jackets so I put them on and dragged The Captain outside to take a picture of me....

These bands are very well made... the seam is practically invisible and well constructed...  and I can vouch that they do not slip... as a matter of fact, they grab quite securely.  I am not sure if I will wear them for runnning or working out, but I know that I will wear them when I want a bit of sparkly sass and they will hold my hair back securely while  I wash my face.... who can't use a little sparkle when you are makeup-free and at your most exposed?

If you are a follower of my blog and would like to win a pair of Sparkly Soul headbands for yourself (one narrow, one wide), here is how you can:

Go to the Sparkly Soul web site and check out the colors.  Leave a comment and tell me the 2 colors you would choose if you win. 

That is it!  I will use a random number picker to choose the winner and post the name on Valentine's Day, Tuesday February 14th.  I will also attempt to contact the winner by email.

If you cannot wait to see if you won and want to buy some for yourself or for your Valentine (Men, ladies  Sparkly Soul), for the entire month of February Sparkly Soul is offering  a 15% Sparkly Soul discount code.   All you need to so is enter in FITFLUENTIAL coupon code at checkout to receive a 15% discount on any Sparkly Soul order for the entire month of February at .

Good Luck... now go tell your friends! And keep sparkling!

Note:  Although I was given these headbands to review and offer to my blog readers in a giveaway,  the opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1st and Things are Happening This Month!

It's February 1st and it is the day I am joining Amanda and many others in a formal even that will help us remembr to say THANK YOU to those we meet and greet on a daily basis, and to appreciate the people in our lives, beginning with ourselves.


Please visit Run to the Finish and read about the challenge, and do join in if you are interested.  I would love to see you there.

There are a couple of virtual runs that I am planning to take part in this month....

The first is on Saturday, February 11th and it is in honor of Sherry Arnold, the runner who was abducted and murdered in Montana in January.  Her cousin, Beth, who blogs at Shut Up and Run, has organized a wonderful tribute event.  Please check Beth's post and join in

And the second is a LEAP YEAR virtual run.  It is is a 2.9 miler on Wednesday, February 29th, of course! This is a fun event with great prizes and is sponsored by Erica who writes Life as a Running Mom.

And don't forget about the HANDFUL BRA giveaway that is going on until the end of the month.  Please check it out here if you are interested in wining!

Here is to a new month.. I hope it is a wonderful one for you!

Do you have goals for February?

Will you take part in any of these events?