Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lessons from a 2 year old

What can you learn from a 2 year old?
Here is what I learned this week from Lola.

"watch me go! go! go!"
and then she proceeded to go flying head first down the slide with no fear at all! Her entire face smiling.
lesson: don't be afraid to jump in head first!

"I like to rake leeeefs with you"
while doing yard work this weekend, holding the rake upside down and making a total mess of the leaves my husband and I just raked.
lesson: find the joy in each moment, even the not so joyous tasks.

"I'm swimming! I'm swimming!"
on her belly in the bathtub in 4 inches of water-arms and legs going.
lesson: believe in yourself and all things are possible!

"you're pretty Mommy"
She said this last week first thing in the morning with her hands on my cheeks, looking right up close at me-no make up, my hair a mess.
lesson: (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) Those who love you, love you no matter what!

"I can do it all by myself"
as she climbed up the ladder to the slide, her footing slipped and I tried to help & fix it for her. She did not want me to.
lesson: sometimes we have to slip and fall so we know what to do differently next time.

"I missed you Mommy"
when I got back from the gym this morning.
lesson: tell those you love how you feel. often.

Sometimes you can find simple life lessons in the everyday.
What have you learned today?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm getting lucky-IM NOT so lucky

The Getting Lucky part!
It appears that I have been blessed with a bit of good luck this week!

First, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I won a pair of Yurbuds from Holly's blog Rust Belt Runner! You might want to head on over and see her by the way-she has two awesome giveaways going on right now: Drymax Socks and RoadID. Even if you have BOTH of these products, the holidays are right around the corner and I am sure there is a runner/athlete in your life that could benefit from either :) Just click on the product to bring you right to that post!

THEN! just a couple hours later I read that I had won a GoHeadband from Denise's blog, Happiness...One Mile at a Time. It's was HER birthday and I was getting a "gift"!! I have yet to find a headband that will stay put so let's see if GoHeadband will do the trick! Keep your eyes open for a full review soon!

I was lucky enough to sneak in a quick bike ride before dinner this week~only a hair over 9 miles but ahhhhh-the weather was perrrfect and it was nice to be out. I was also able to jump into the pool this week and get a couple quality workouts in the gym (meaning Lola was not getting kicked out of the kid's club at the Y for hitting the boys).

I was a lucky gal when I stumbled upon this delish recipe for Pear Bread by Aimee at I Tri to be Me. This bread looked and sounded so good, I had to make it right away! I am so glad I did too. This bread is moist, yummy, vegan and easy to make. The recipe makes 2 generous sized loaves so you will have plenty to enjoy!

More luck-hubby only had meetings today so 1)he's local and 2) he gets home at a reasonable hour! This means that I get to run in this warm fall weather when he gets home. NO JOGGER! Yay me!

Maybe I should consider picking up a lottery ticket this week??

I am pretty excited to be heading to the Trader Joe's grand opening celebration tomorrow morning and then running the Back Bay with Jana and the kids. Maybe this lucky streak will last until tomorrow and I will win some cool stuff at TJ's.

In reality, I think I am pretty lucky all the time. I have an amazing family, a few really great friends and my life is good. No, not good. GREAT.

Now, for the IM not so lucky...

IM as in Ironman, not I AM. All the triathlon world is buzzing about the Access Ironman program that was announced by the WTC yesterday.

If you have not heard about this yet-here is a quick summary.
Pay $1,000.00 per year to join. Get a membership card (is it laminated??), Lava magazine and a couple other paltry perks. Oh and you get to attempt to register for the IM events before the general public (but you still get to pay the full fee of the race).

For those of us that struggle to find an extra $1k per year for tri gear and race fees alone, this certainly is a bit frustration. It just makes the dream of completing an Ironman just a little bit further out of grasp.

This announcement has a lot of people talking about Revolution3, Great Floridian*, and other smaller events.

*Speaking of Great Floridian Big congrats to KC (140 point 6 miles) for totally rockin' 140.6 and finishing 5th OVERALL FEMALE~ Check out her race report!

IronDiva and Mauricio kept the humor alive with funny videos.
Heather at Run Faster Mommy fires off this "letter" to the WTC.
Big Daddy Diesel puts it all into perspective and points out a BIG 13.1 mile flaw in the IM Boulder-Bling!

While this does not effect my immediate future in triathlon, I will do 70.3 and 140.6 SOMEDAY. When that day is I cannot tell right now but it is something I will be striving for at some point in my life. I really don't care if it is Ironman. I want to push myself physically and mentally to challenge those numbers-not the brand. As far as I am concerned ANYONE who tackles 70.3 and/or 140.6 is a rockstar.
Who knows what the future holds--Maybe WTC/Ironman pissed off so many people with this Access Ironman program it will be easy to get into an IM event by the time I am ready.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You might be a runner/triathlete

You know you are a runner or triathlete when... know what Yasso 800's are.
Even better - they are a regular part of your training program. know that Crank Brothers, Pearl Izumi, Blue Seventy, GU and Zoot are brands and NOT the name of some obscure punk band.
Even better - you own one (or more) of their products.

...buying coffee you see Kona on the label you think of triathlon.
Even better- you considering buying it just because is says Kona on the label.

...the words transition, taper, bonk, brick, ladder, LSD, and drafting mean something completely different to you than the average Joe.
Even better- you have experienced all of them. know what bike porn is.
Even better- you have posted your own bike porn.

...driving anywhere you are scoping out new routes to run or ride.
Even better- you find a nice, long hill and you can't wait to do hill repeats. plan your family vacations around your racing schedule.
Even better-the race destination IS your family vacation.

...these numbers make your heart go pitter-patter: 13.1, 26.2, 70.3, 140.6
Even better - you have them proudly displayed on your vehicle. know what BQ means.
Even better - you have done it! know what IM means.
Even better - you done done it! see an M-Dot tattoo and can't wait to have your own someday.
Even better- you already have one. subscribe to Runner's World, Inside Triathlon or Triathlete magazines.
Even better- you get them all and read them cover to cover the day it comes in the mail.

...anything on this list made you smile! Happy Tuesday :)

Monday's Musings

When rest is best-
Lola has been battling the sniffles since Saturday and I think she has been so generous as to share those pesky little germs with me. I feel ok but a little run down~so after a great week of training I may just call today a rest day. I do struggle with taking rest days at times so I may get out for a short and easy BOB run if I can beat the rain showers today. I did read that short bursts of moderate activity actually lessen the duration of a cold and boost the immune system so I could actually be helping myself!

Smashing Pumpkins-
I made the big mistake of trying Pumpkin coffee at Dunkin Donuts on Friday after a rather chilly BOB Brigade run. Oh. My. Delish. Sooooo yummy~so I have been jonesing for pumpkin coffee all weekend. Hubby was nice enough to make an emergency stop at DD yesterday so I could get an extra-large one. This pumpkin coffee has now triggered an interest in creating other pumpkin treats so I am searching for some healthy pumpkin treats. If you know of or have any great pumpkin recipes, please share!!

Running Wild-
Last week was a great running week for me--I am finally getting out for more frequent runs and it makes me happy. I have not had a 30+ mile week in quite a while and I was happy to hit 30 last week. The gym change over to the Y has also made me create more weekend running time. My local Y does not open until 11am so this means Sunday morning will now officially go back to LONG RUN SUNDAY. I want to rebuild my long runs back to 15-18 miles and make sure I am getting in those hill workouts and some speed work mid-week

Taking a break in the leaves post-run on Saturday with Dawn
The weekend was perfect for running-I got out with Jana twice (Friday and Sunday) and ran with Dawn on Saturday! I can't remember the last time I had my ipod on a run.

Speaking of iPods, I am going to try shifting my long run entertainment from music to podcasts. I am currently on the prowl for some good ones focused on running, triathlon and training. I got a couple great suggestions from friends on Dailymile but I would LOVE to hear what YOU are listening to right now!

Getting Wet-
I have not been in the pool for a couple weeks and I miss it! This was one big reason I changed gyms so I have to make sure that I am getting some swim time. A TI clinic just started up so I want to catch a couple drop in sessions. I have so much to learn about swimming, I really need to take advantage of my access to the pool.

Cycling & Re-Cycling-
I also need to get my butt out on my bike! It has been tough to get out because it is so dark and cold early morning and it's getting dark earlier and earlier. I think I need to add a ride to my weekend workout schedule!
I am saddened at how disrespectful people still are of our environment-there is so much litter and debris on the side of the road and tons of empty cans! Here in Maine there is a 5cent deposit you must pay on any canned or bottled item. I saw SO many empties along the sides of the roads this week-mostly beer cans. Lots of them! I have pondered the thought of bringing a large garbage bag with me and picking up these empties. I could make almost a buck a run I bet...maybe even more. Something to think about.

Well here's to a new week-What do you plan to accomplish this week??

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Go for it!


I recently had a conversation with a friend about being competitive and racing. We shared our different views on the subject-She is ultra competitive, on top of all her race stats and those in her direct (and indirect) "line of fire". The goals of winning and/or beating certain individuals is what gives my friend one big dose of motivation.

My perspective on competition thus far really has more to do with beating myself. Setting goals, meeting them and then raising the bar a bit higher is what has been my motivating factor. Getting faster, going longer and seeing consistent improvement with my performance has been my reward.


My friend wants to win. It is not the end all be all of her existence but it is something she strives for~her goals are set on AG wins and overall wins. She knows what she wants and has a plan to do just that!

I don't go into a race with thoughts of winning. The one time I went into a race with thoughts of an age group placement did not come to fruition. Lesson learned. I have been lucky enough to have some good races this season and won or placed in my age group several times. Getting second in my age group at my first triathlon was amazing and a totally unexpected treat.

Don't get me wrong-placing in my AG at any race is great/fun/exciting and now that I have had a small taste of it, I want to continue to improve as an athlete. It is tangible proof to me that I have come SO far.

Two years ago I could not even fathom doing a triathlon. Two years ago I could only dream about running a 1/2 marathon-never mind setting my sights on Boston "someday". Two years ago my goal was to lose fat, get my body healthy and fit enough to run a mile or two without stopping. Mission accomplished.

To me, racing is issuing a challenge to myself. Complete this race in XX:XX amount of time. Improve on this or don't do that. It is a learning experience and a way for me to measure my own success. I try not to get all caught up in the winning.

In the last few days, the conversation with my friend has been replayed and thought of several times. I am afraid that she may have awoken a sleeping tiger. A bit of drive hidden deep within. The desire to pursue bigger goals.

Being so new to running (and even newer to triathlon) I still have so much to learn, so much training, smaller goals to accomplish and so much more room to grow as an athlete.

I mean really--I finally got off the treadmill in Jan 2010 and started running outside. I have only just begun dipping my toes in the waters of swimming in July. I started cranking out some cycling miles this summer~on a beast of a bike to boot!

But why can't I dream big? Why can't I have expectations of winning?

I can and I will. I truly believe you can do anything you set your mind to do. If you have the passion and the drive, you can make those dreams a reality. I am living proof of that. I have achieved each goal I have set for myself and then some.

I just think right now is the time to continue learning, striving to better myself and making new goals. The time will come soon enough when I will allow my focus to shift into a more competitive mode. Then I will change my focus and put my eyes on the prize-the medal, the golden cup, the win.

So watch out Ms.MastersWinner, I am behind you now and getting closer and closer each race. One of these days I am going to catch you. And maybe, just maybe one day I am going to beat YOU and win.

Friday, October 22, 2010


It's Friday-
I have had a fun week and I cannot believe another week of October is coming to an end. The time is just going by so fast!
We started the day with an almost 6-mile (5.6) run with the BOB Brigade. It was an abbreviated group today as it was just Jana and me with the baby girls, which is fun none the less. I am really loving these jogger runs with Jana. It's nice to reconnect with her and have our daughter's play together for a bit post-run. I also really enjoy her company and we have some interesting (and silly) conversations about life, fitness, family and any other things that pops into our heads.
It was a very CRISP morning out there today! Brrrrr...about 37 degrees when we left! I was prepared for this cold today and I pulled out the thermal running tights and my LLBean base layers. Earlier this week I picked up a great tech shirt at Old Navy of all places-bright, bright pinky-orange color with reflective tape on the upper back (and only $16.00!) It is JUST PERFECT to put on over all those layers and be seen-especially for those early mornings or running in snow storms (one of my favorite times to run!)
After the run, Lola and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a cup of Pumpkin coffee and a munchin (coffee for me and a munchin for the munchin). Then it was off to do some errands and restock some of the necessities in the fridge for the weekend. Beer for hubby and organic mixed baby greens for me!

Lola and I are going to be making some healthy Apple Crisp today. I tweaked a recipe I got from my mother-in-laws diabetic cookbook on Tuesday and it came out quite good. So good in fact that I am making it again for us and a batch for them! So we want to share with YOU too.
We went apple picking a couple weeks ago and we still have TONS of apples-and they are HUGE! I only needed to use 3 apples for this recipe because they were so big! So use your best judgement. If your apples are small use more, if you have BIG apples then use less.

A Healthy Twist on Apple Crisp

3-4 large apples
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1 tablespoon brown sugar, sucanat or demerara sugar

crisp topping:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
3 tablespoons brown sugar, sucanat or demerara sugar
1 tablespoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter OR olive oil
2 tablespoons low fat sour cream
walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400.
Peel, core and slice your apples.
Place into a glass baking dish
Add the flour, sugar and spices to the apples.
Toss well until the apples are evenly coated.

In a large mixing bowl-
combine the flour, oats, sugar, spice, salt, flax
cut in your butter/margarine if using
drizzle with olive oil
mix well, breaking up clumps until it looks like sandy gravel
add the sour cream and repeat the above step until it is well incorporated
Top your seasoned apples with the crisp mixture, covering the apples evenly. Rough chop your walnuts and top the crisp mixture (if using)

Bake in the oven until the topping is golden brown and the apples are bubbly~appx 30-40 mins depending on the density of the apple.

ENJOY!! It's even better with vanilla ice cream~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Falling for Fall!

Happy Humpday!
It's Wednesday and what a week it has been so far!

The view from behind the BOB on Tuesday's run

I am falling in love with fall running! I got out with Lola for a nap time run (6 miles) yesterday. I could not get her to nap at all so I decided a jaunt out in the jogger may do the trip! SUCCESS-about 1 mile into the run she was O-U-T and I was out running so life was good!

Sleeping Beauty finally fell asleep

The view along the run yesterday really was pretty-and the weather was PERFECT! I find myself being so thankful lately for so many things. The simple things. The things that make my heart happy and bring a smile to my face.

Wilcox Pond~so pretty with the fall colors!

Our neighborhood farm stand was closed for the day :(

The wind was really strong yesterday so it felt like I was pushing 1,000lbs at times but if I have to take a run with the jogger vs. NO run well...the BOB wins any day! I am sure I will get out for several more BOB runs this week while the weather is still good.

What else is going on?? Let's see-

~I finally got myself a RoadID-in PINK!!! While we were at the Maine Marathon Expo, I stopped by the vendor table there and the very, very nice guy running it gave me a $15.00 gift certificate AND a $2.00 off coupon so it was practically FREE!!

Is this overkill??? *lol*

~My Mom has been the source of many moments of laughter for me lately. She is in the middle of a big redecorating project at her house and since I have zero talent (or interest) in this kind of thing there are several situations I find very amusing. How many paint chips does one person really need? Don't get me wrong-she is very talented at this kind of thing! When she describes some idea to me, most times I have a hard time wrapping my head around it but always, in the end, it looks amazing. But sometimes I wonder if she has gone plum-crazy!

For example-buying pom-pom fringe for a bed skirt. Yes, pom-pom fringe is funny to me. What is so amusing about it? Well, for starters that she would actually order this kind of thing and be all excited to drive 30 mins north to pick it up! Wait, oops-No, they made a mistake at the fabric store and it did not come in. So she drove almost an HOUR south to a different fabric store to get it. Even funnier?? She paid an OBSCENE amount of money (in my opinion) for pom-pom fringe. My Dad even thought she was insane so when he said something about the INFLATED price of pom-pom fringe to the cashier, they were given a 50% discount coupon. And in my opinion, it is still WAY more money than anyone of the face of this earth should ever pay for pom-poms-it's just crazy*!!

*but she probably thinks the same exact thing about spending money on compression socks!!

With the holidays just around the corner, I am looking forward the the Christmas decorations that will grace her bathroom. You read that correctly-The bathroom. It's done tastefully-no laughing Santa Claus holding out rolls of toilet paper or anything but...yeah. Christmas cheer can be found in her loo! Nothing says "Happy Holidays-enjoy this pee" like a wreath of dried berries and cones.

~Which brings me to shaving (TMI Warning): I have to laugh each and every time I shave my armpits now-I think of one fabulous lady from my group, WIOSM named Tammy (yes, spinach protein shake Tammy) who once put it out there that shaving your armpits when you are fat is a whole new experience once you get lean and have muscle tone. There are more grooves and valley's to shave around and the danger of cutting yourself increases 10-fold. This is SO true!

Same theory goes for the legs! Now that my legs are not shapeless blobs of fat, I have to be much more more careful! So here's to you Tammy-once again I was thinking of you in the shower today! That just sounds wrong huh?

~Thank you to those who voted in my "star" poll. It looks like the overwhelming majority of you (all 7!!) think I should be shooting for the FULL MARY! I think I can make that happen.
I am still hyper-focused on getting me some EMZ-ABS (as they will be officially be called from here on out!)

But the 100 push ups is still on my radar and I think I will once again do the 100 push up challenge, but actually see it to completion this time.

How is YOUR week going?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boston Schmoston!

I do love Boston and had the pleasure of living there for quite a few years. I was there in my 20's and let's just say that my priorities were not quite what they are today.

I liked to dance and party with my friends. I liked to go to the clubs (at least 5 nights a week) and was able to balance that with working 50+ hours a week. I worked and shopped on Newbury Street. I loved my career in fashion-I never wanted to settle down, get married or have kids. My eyes were set on New York City and I was contemplating a move there. I loved the big, bright lights, fast-paced city life!

Ironically (now), my office at the time was actually straddled between Newbury/Clarendon/Boylston streets in the New England Financial building-right on the Boston Marathon finish line. I used to get annoyed at all the people who crowed the area on marathon day. I dreaded Patriot's Day just because of this madness! Were these people crazy?? Running 26.2 miles and all this fuss.

I used to say that only way you would ever catch ME running was if they were giving away Louis Vuitton handbags. (I am SURE I have mentioned this tidbit of info before...)

The most important things to me at that time were a) what was THE coolest designer handbag to have b) how many designer watches and sunglasses can I own c) can I make it through the day on diet coke and coffee alone? d) what was I wearing OUT that night?

Yeah, times change.

These days I am seriously considering selling my massive collection of designer handbags to buy a tri bike. I could care less what bag is the HOT bag. My "handbag" is now a little drawstring backpack I got at Tri for a Cure.

My daughter broke my (very expensive) Escada sunglasses last year and I have yet to fix them-I can't run or bike in them! That G logo Gucci watch I salivated over for months back in 1998 has not been out of my jewelry box in years. I have "traded" that watch in for a Polar F6 or my Garmin 305 depending on the day and the workout.

I can't tell you the last time I danced at a club or even had an "adult beverage" for that matter. I can't go more than 3-4 hours without eating something. I don't drink Diet Coke at all.

My favorite outfit is my black running skirt and my Mizuno tech shirt.

...and this brings me full circle back to Boston but with different eyes.

I think back to the times I was living in Back Bay and how I could have had so many glorious runs through the Esplanade or the Boston Commons. Long, hilly runs out to Newton. Or even just the opportunity to take some time out of my busy day on Patriot's Day and cheer on all those runners that were crossing the line just steps from me.

Do I want to run THE Boston Marathon? someday?
you betcha!

I was considering running as part of a charity team for 2011 but on the day I was supposed to sign up, I found myself staring at the computer screen and never even filled out my name on the application. I had a couple conversations with friends and family about this-running for charity vs. qualifying. All sides were debated with pro's and con's to each. For now I am going to hold off on running for charity. I have some other things that need to be accomplished first. But let's just say:
I have time and I have a plan.

So we will see what the future holds for my "return" to BOSTON. Needless to say, Boston 2011 is not on my radar but I plan to go to cheer on those who BQ'd and get in!

SO if you did it this year-for the first or the fifth time
This is an accomplishment to be proud of~I look forward to cheering you on in 2011!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Fitness Focus: All About Abs

It's Friday! Usually I kick off the weekend with an early morning run with The BOB Brigade but due to some nasty weather (cold, wind, rain) on the East Coast today we opted to do a Thursday edition of the BB run.
*of note: yesterday was a glorious fall day and a fabulous BB run

So today I decided to kick off the weekend with a focus on my new pet project: my abs

I was feeling a bit lost and out of focus this week (if you recall THIS post) and wondering what my next big challenge should be/will be. Call it devine intervention, karma, kismit, fate, chance...whatever. But while reading up on my blogroll I stumbled upon a little picture of a thunderbolt with the words The HardCORE Club and decided to click on it (oh no!) and it brought me HERE (ahhh-Jamoosh! I know that name from reading Emz blog-If I can't convince you--I'll at least confuse you). Good stumble Jen! Jamoosh has a great core workout for runners so I read over everything and decided to add this to my current regime. Well, while reading through his blog I stumbled across THIS PICTURE of a cute gal with some AMAZING ABS> I kid you not. They are awesome-awe inspiring, really. Then I noticed that this picture was actually of Emz!
I continue on with my reading~random clicks from one blog to the next-this and that. I find myself back to Emz blog and now I come across a second picture of those abs*.

*I'm not a stalker, really!

I'm thinking this is kind of funny though huh?? I was glad to read that I was not the only one crushing on her abs either. So see-it's becoming all about abs!! either that or I don't have enough diversity on my blogroll. this could very well be the case. I really only care about my family and fitness. nothing else is of ANY interest to me. ha ha

So this gives me one new goal to work on! *~*~*happy dance*~*~

Will I have the abs to actually RUN in just a little sports bra?

I giving myself until the warm weather rolls around again to find out! Let the fun begin!

Got up at my usual 4am today to get in an Insanity workout but Lola decided that the moment I was dressed and ready to head into the (home) gym that it was time for HER to wake up.
Plan A was postponed for a bit for breakfast for BOTH of us~

I started the day today with a nice healthy (ab friendly) breakfast. 6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon a dash of stevia and a scoop of flax seed meal.

Then it was time to get moving!

I had copied the Beginning Core workout from Jamoosh's site earlier and that was first on the list.
Good ab workout. I see myself doing this 2x though. But I gotta check out the intermediate workout still. I liked the shoulder taps. That is new to me and I like new.

Then it was onto the shoulder combo's I had written up for the WIOSM challenge-max amt of reps to the song RING OF FIRE by Johnny Cash. I only got in 31 reps (anterior raise to a lateral raise to a posterior raise) with 5lb db's in 2:44 ...and it burns burns burns.

Then it was onto Insanity-Cardio Recovery. As the title suggests, it is a recovery workout-deep muscle work with holds, pulses and lots of stretching.

Later today it's off the the (real) gym for some circuit training, HIIT and whatever else strikes my fancy. I am really in love with the old school StairMaster there (or StairBeast as I affectionately call her). You know-the rotating set of stairs, real stairs-not one of those late 80's stair steppers. Ick.

Gina Carano

So are we placing any bets on the whole "running in a sports bra" goal by warm weather. And yeah, I could RUN in a sports bra NOW but it would not be pretty-not disgusting-but not pretty. And I want pretty. Gina Carano pretty. Mike "the Situation" pretty. or EMZ pretty!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm strong to the finish-

-'cause I eat my spinach!

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!! (toot! toot!)

Spinach. So versatile and easy. And SO GOOD FOR YOU!

I have always liked spinach. Matter of fact, when I was in grade school, I would get the school's hot lunch. I would love it whenever we had spinach (or broccoli). I would trade my cake (or whatever other dessert there was that day) with other kids to get THEIR spinach! I recall kids just willing handing over their spinach (and broccoli) and I thought I was the lucky one~getting ALL this spinach!
Fast forward many (many) years and I still love it. These days I am enjoying this super veggie in a few more creative ways then the boiled mess they offered in school lunch.
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat spinach!
I love to start the day or wrap up a workout with a protein shake and my favorite has to be one I have named "The Green Monkey". This is not my original recipe, it was actually an adaption from Tammy's recipe for her spinach protein shake, so a big thank you to her for sharing her recipe with me!

  • 1 cup of Almond Milk (or your favorite milky liquid~coconut, rice, soy, cow, goat etc.)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein isolate (or your favorite protein powder)
  • a dash of stevia or your favorite sweetener (honey works well here too)
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 generous tablespoon of all natural peanut butter
  • 1 frozen banana cut into chunks (you don't have to use frozen but it's really really good if you use a frozen banana)
  • a couple ice cubes (more if you used a non-frozen banana)
  • a BIG hand full of raw baby spinach
put all of the above in your blender in that order and WHIZ until smooth. Enjoy-you won't even know you are drinking spinach-I promise!
A couple weeks ago after running a race, I was craving pizza. Now I did not want to go out nor did I to consume 9,000 calories in a single sitting so I played around with what we had on hand and came up with a great solution~yummy melted cheese, mostly figure friendly and satisfied my craving. Now this is a quick and easy lunch~add a big salad and you've got a great dinner too!
Easy Spinach Quesadillas

  • 2 whole wheat wraps (I really like Joseph's Oat & Flax wraps)
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) of LF shredded cheddar cheese (like Cabot 50% reduced fat is awesome!)
  • 2 tblsp cottage cheese (optional-I have made it with and without, both are good!)
  • 1 big hand full of raw baby spinach-chopped
Spritz a skillet with olive oil or non-stick spray and place one wrap in the pan. Layer cheese, spinach, cottage cheese and then more cheddar cheese.

Top with the other wrap. Cook on med-med/high heat until the bottom wrap is toasty and golden. Flip onto a dinner plate and slide back into the skillet. Repeat to toasty golden perfection on the other side.
I make a yummy salsa dip for this that is also super easy!

DIP: equal parts of plain Greek yogurt and your favorite salsa (1/4 cup each is good). Top with chopped cilantro and green onion (optional) or make it spicy with some extra hot sauce!

I came up with this salad combo this summer after a visit to Longhorn Steakhouse and several trips to pick strawberries.

Spinach & Fruit Salad with Feta

  • 4 cups of raw baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup of green grapes, cut in half
  • a couple rings of sliced red or sweet onion

Toss the above in a large salad bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese. You can also add some grilled chicken to this to make it a great lunch or meal. I even like it with some toasted nuts like pecans or almonds. As for dressing~something light and simple goes well with this salad. A raspberry/walnut vinaigrette or poppy seed dressing is really good!

What is YOUR favorite way to eat spinach??

What is YOUR favorite super veggie??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What now?

I look at my big blank calendar and wonder what's next for me.
I don't have a single race scheduled.
I don't have a date staring at me telling me what I am training for next.
No big red notes written in Sharpie.
No hot pink circles around the date.
It's blank. Nothing. Zippo.
What now? I feel LOST.

I must admit having so many things to train for was fun. It gave me a focus. A purpose. A goal. A reason to run-bike-swim-weight train. Since August I have had a race or event of some sort EVERY SINGLE weekend.

I thought that the break would give me a chance to rest and relax but I find myself feeling antsy instead.

I am a goal driven person.

So like a drug addict, I find myself searching for my next "fix".

What's next for me?

I'm not really sure.

I know that my time away from weight training has certainly effected my strength so I am working on rebuilding that.

I used be be able to bang out 35-40 military push ups NO PROBLEM. Yeah, I could barely do 20 this week. Talk about a crush to the old ego.

I was doing about 20 pull ups with a 30lb assist with ease and I was well on my way to doing them unassisted~I actually managed to do 1-2 on occasion with no assist.
This week I needed to bump the assist up to 50lbs and 15 was a challenge. sad.

I decided that it was time start seeing Shaun T on a regular basis this week. (For those of you who don't know, Shaun T. is the guy who does the Insanity workout DVD's) I made a commitment to myself to get back to the Insanity workouts. So today was my second early moring with Shaun T. I love him. Really. I do.

This spring when I was doing the Insanity workouts faithfully I was leaner. I was faster. I was running longer. I felt great! So I feel it was time to get back to business and bring this back into my workout regime.

^ that's Shaun T-

Now that it is dark until 6am I am trading in my early morning runs for a "date" with Shaun T. I will move my runs to later in the day since there is no longer concern for HOT afternoons. My weight training will be in the mid-morning at the Y or at home during Lola's naptime.

I getting back to double sessions (cardio/weight training splits) and counting every single morsel of food that crosses my lips to lean out once again and bring back my little 4-pack abs.
I would like to do 100 push ups. I want to do unassisted pull ups and chin ups.

I have found a couple local fun races~I am going to run a Halloween 10k dressed up in a costume pushing Lola in the BOB so not counting on any PR's there...

I am probably going to add in some sort of Turkey Trot and a Frozen Four...there is also an indoor triathlon at my local Y in a couple weeks but for now my schedule is empty. Of course I am planning on running the Eastern States 20-miler from Maine to Massachusetts in March 2011 but...

I guess this will be my goal:
To survive (mentally) without a set deadline.

But I am always open for suggestions-and dares. and ideas.

(Check out the poll at the top right hand margin)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who's the Boss?? (we have a winner!)

Let's Celebrate with CAKE!!

Oh it's Thursday~It's been a very lazy week here and I am certainly feeling BLAH!

Monday started out with a screeching pain in my back while picking up Lola. This pain was like pain I never had~breath taking pain. After several hours of whincing, yelping, crying and begging for mercy, I caved in and decided to seek some sort of treatment.

My doc (who is an osteopath) was not in so I listened to my mother's advice and went to see her Chiro-Dr. Benham in Saco. I have never been to a chiropractor and I must admit, I think that a lot of it is b.s. but Dr. Benham's undergrad is in Exercise Phisiology~and during the initial exam and in talking with him, I learned he was more focused on the biomechanics of the body. We talked at length about his background in sports medicine and running and this helped to put any of my fears or mistrust on the "back" burner (yeah, yeah...bad. Iknow).

Turns out that the muscle strain was pulling a rib out of place and that was the culprit of my crazy pain! Two visits later and all is on the mend.

Lola came down with a head cold Monday night and did not sleep well at all. Tuesday was a long, miserable day with my little one being sick and ickky. But she was nice enough to share her cold with me! Luckily, we are both doing much better now and today is a new day.

It was a quiet celebration for her birthday last night~my parents came over with cake and presents!

WE had to blow out the candles twice~and she had more fun playing with the balloons than she did her actual gifts!!

Lola is in LOVE with my bicycle and my parents felt it was time for her own!

SO Lola now has her own set of wheels!

A Cervelo Nytro Spec P4 Di2
Triathlon / Time Trial Bike!!

Oh wait. No. That's what MOMMY wants....*lol*

Here's Lola's new wheels:

A Radio Flyer!!
Needless to say, it's back to the gym today for me! And most likely a run later. I see plenty of double sessions in the weeks to come. It's also back onto the Eating Clean wagon for this gal! Too much cake...
I am also considering adding another 1/2 marathon to the books very soon. I have my eyes on one just a few weeks away...I will certainly keep y'all posted!!
Now what you have been waiting for:

We have a winner in the GYMBOSS INTERVAL TIMER giveaway!!

........drumroll please................

the winner was picked this morning via

.....and the lucky winner is.......

comment #29

posted on 10/06/2010 at 4:54 am



The winning comment??

So...TERRY, please get in touch with me so we can make arrangements for you to get your awesomely hot pink GYMBOSS interval timer! You can email me at jsmall14 (at) maine (dot) rr (dot) com
Thank you to all that entered! I will be having many more fun giveaways coming up!

Monday, October 4, 2010


The Maine 1/2 Marathon is now checked off my TO DO list.

How did it go? Wonderful!

I had a lot of fun and I could not have had a better day to run. The weather was cool but it was my favorite kind of running weather~sunny and crisp! The course was beautiful. I find calm and solace in running along the waters edge so this was right up my ally.

How did I do? Ahhh...nothing earth shattering performance wise but I am pleased with how I ran (I was also being realistic!). With all kinds of races and events packed into each weekend from August until now, I have really had little time to focus on training for this 1/2 marathon so I did not have any big expectations for myself.

My goals?
Have fun and finish under 2 hours.
Mission accomplished!
Pre-race hanging with my best gal!

It was a pretty stress free morning and since hubby is very familiar with the Portland area he was able to sneak around the traffic snafu all along I295 and get me right to the starting line with now issues.

Under the start/finish line

I warmed up for a bit and decided to hit the Porta-Potty for a pit stop before race time. SO did the other 3,900 runners there~the lines were INSANE! I wandered around trying to find another spot and I found a construction porta-potty with only 40 people waiting in line. This is when I announced to all that were listening "this is a time I really wish I was a guy!"

Another gal in line agreed with me and we both eyed this large, green dumpster off in the distance. With only minutes before the starting gun was to fire, I offered to "block" and she was in! We ran to the dumpster just as several other guys did the same. We looked around some more and spied a corner doorway of a large brick building and this was it! It was now or never...So yup, I peed in public and did not bat a single eyelash about it! As we finished up our "business" we introduced ourselves to one another and we were off to the starting line.

The gun fired and the crush of people inched forward. This picture courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

It felt like forever before I was over the mat and hitting the first turn onto the open road around the Back Bay. I just kept it nice and easy~taking in the day. The crowds of people, the Chinese drummers, the sunlight shimmering on the water. I was treating this run like any other Sunday long run. Nice and easy...I observed the people as we ran and I could not help but notice so many cute running skirts! I am giving the "best dressed runner" award to the chic with the pink & green camo running skirt and hot pink tank & visor!

The crowd support was amazing. I tried to give a high five to each child that had their hand out, thinking of Lola. A big thank you to the little girl holding out the box of tissues! Perfect timing.

The first 5 miles went by so quick and I was really enjoying this run today. It was about this time that I started to anticipate the hills that I kept hearing about (yeah, why check out the course ahead of time like hubby suggested?? the element of surprise is always interesting right??). The hills were what I would describe as "gentle rolling hills" and certainly not quite as steep or as long as I was hearing (at least in my opinion). So I sailed over them with ease and was feeling good!

This was an out-and-back course so at the turn around I decided that I certainly had it in me to push a little faster~shortly after the turn-around I saw Hubby and Lola on the sidelines cheering me on! I got a mid-race high five and seeing them just made the day that much better.

I had seen some porta-potties on the way out with signs telling runners DO NOT PEE IN THE WOODS. So knowing these were coming up and with my full bladder screaming at me I decided that I HAD to make a stop or I'd be running to the finish in some very wet tights! And no amount of Hoo Ha Ride Glide would prevent THAT kind of chafing!

Although I certainly did not want to take the time loss I made the sacrifice and stopped. I lost a good three minutes as I waited in line and then finally got my turn but OH! what comfortable joy after that was done! Seriously, the mile after that "pit stop" was my fasted mile (8:12)

The rest of the run back to the start was uneventful~once I got to the Back Bay trails I knew I was close to "home" but it just seemed to take FOREVER to get there! I could hear the crowd, I could see the finish area but it felt like I was moving in slow motion.
Just as I rounded the corner I saw my husband and Lola along with my Aunt Peggy (Jana's mom) and Jana's husband, Mike and little Avery.

I was so happy that Hubby and Lola had made it back to the start to see me cross the finish line. I peered at the big red numbers screaming "1:55:xx" and while I was not thrilled with the time, it was under the two hours I had made my goal. I heard my name and hometown announced over the PA system after I crossed the finish line and I was getting my finishers medal.

My time?
Official "chip" time: 1:54:33
My Garmin time: 1:54:13 and 13.32 miles

All of my splits were in the 8-minute range (8:44 being the slowest and 8:12 being the fastest). Now that I have my first 1/2 marathon under my belt I have a point of reference for myself and I know how much harder I can push myself. I enjoy this distance and I think I am fully capable of setting my sights on a sub 1:45 for my next one.

Now to find the next one and hopefully soon! Before the end of this season would be very nice...

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Celebration: GYMBOSS Giveaway!

Happy Friday and Happy October 1st!

October is one of my favorite months~there are so many things to celebrate!

Lola was born on the 6th (two weeks late!) and my little pumpkin baby will be 2!!

Leif Erikson Day is on the 9th! Who is Leif Erikson?? Well it's not that teeny-bop singer from the 70's with big hair and wearing skin-tight pants...

More American History is celebrated with Columbus Day on the 11th and some of you might even have the day off.
It's National Boss Day on the 16th. Mother-in Law Day on the 24th and Halloween on the 31st.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I also think that October should be National Marathon Month. I am considering petitioning the government to declare every post-race Monday a day off for those who ran a marathon on any Sunday during the month of October!! Just show your race bib to your boss and you get a paid day off on Monday. Is anyone with me on this??

Well to celebrate the beginning of a fabulous month~today I am hosting a GYMBOSS INTERVAL TIMER giveaway!!

When I started working out and my focus was to lose weight (FAT!) I discovered interval training. There is NO better way to sizzle fat, build endurance, get faster and leaner than interval training. I still rely on interval training to build speed, gain strength and get an amazing workout in a short amount of time.

What is interval training? Interval training is a type of physical training that involves bursts of high intensity work. This high intensity work is alternated with periods of rest or low activity (the intervals in interval training).

All cardio benefits are ramped-up by doing interval training and the benefits are huge - your heart rate slows, you use oxygen more efficiently, you get faster - quickly, and you feel great from all those endorphins running around in your bloodstream.

A couple of years ago I heard about the fabulously fit Zuzana at (which is where I also first discovered the Gymboss Interval Timer) from one of the Sexy Mama's in my Mommy's fitness group, W.I.O.S.M. (Work It Out Sexy Mama!). Since then whenever I am looking for a quick, no-nonsense, killer workout I check out what Zuzana has going on.

As my fitness journey progressed I discovered Tabata, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and then more recently started working with Kettlebells and adding in some CrossFit WOD workouts. The Gymboss Interval Timer is the perfect companion to any workout. It allows me to focus on WHAT I AM DOING and not watching the clock. By being able to focus on each exercise and giving it 100%, I can get the results I want faster! Isn't that what we all want?
Having the timer really changed the way I was working out and I WAS seeing results. I was faster. I was leaner. I was stronger. Best of all, I was getting the most of out my workouts in a short amount of time and it was fun.

The Gymboss is small (about the size of a pager) and lightweight so you can clip it anywhere without feeling like it is in the way. I have even clipped it onto my Merrill visor when doing speedwork! You can set it to an audible beep or silent vibration. I found so many ways to use my Gymboss~running, kettlebells, circuit training ~ Then, some jackbutt at the gym stole mine and I have been without my Gymboss for a while.

But no more!! I was in touch with Mark at Gymboss and he hooked me up! and he wants to hook you up too!!

Mark sent me an awesome HOT PINK GYMBOSS INTERVAL TIMER with some Tabata workouts too!

How will Gymboss help YOU and YOUR WORKOUTS??

GYMBOSS will make any workout easier to plan and execute with more accuracy and consistency.

  • 1 or 2 intervals - 2 seconds to 99 minutes
  • Repeat up to 99 times
  • Beep and/or Vibrate alarm
  • Alarm duration 1, 5, or 10 seconds
  • Stopwatch function
  • Secure Belt clip
  • Compact Size (1 ¾ x 2 ¼ x ½ inches)
  • Water and shock resistant
  • AAA battery required

The Gymboss interval timer will give your workout the discipline and structure necessary to take your workout to the next level. This easy to use timer will allow you to control intensity and allow you to focus on the workout to get the best results possible!

  • Muscle strength, size, and endurance
  • Fat loss
  • Anaerobic endurance
  • Cardio endurance
  • Increased VO2max

I am really excited to be sharing a product with you that I love~I know you will LOVE it too!!

There are SO MANY ways to enter for a chance to win one for yourself. Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry!!

  1. (mandatory) Be or become a follower of my blog.
  2. (mandatory) Visit the Gymboss website and take a look around. Tell me how you plan to implement the Gymboss Interval Timer into YOUR workout regime.


  1. Share this giveaway on your blog, FB, Twitter, e-mail a friend and tell me how you are sharing the love!! (get an entry for each way you share!)
  2. Follow Gymboss on Facebook (click here)~leave them a comment or write on their wall!
  3. Follow Gymboss on Twitter (click here)
  4. Tell me how you found out about this giveaway!! Are you a Sexy Mama or Running Mom? Did you find this on Dailymile? Blogger?
  5. Add Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood to your blogroll

Edited to Add: I will acept entries through Oct 6th (Lola's Birthday!!)

Stop by on 10/6 and wish her HAPPY BIRTHDAY by leaving a comment and get an extra chance to win!!

I will select the winner via on the morning of 10/7.