Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Things I'm Excited About

It's Friday!  Back to the Friday Five hosted by Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!  The theme today was 5 things about me, so I thought I'd go more on the 5 things I'm excited for lately wave.

1.  This book.  I found these books when I first got my Nook and was using the ebooks section of my library.  Sure the stories are pretty cheesy, but what can I say, I love them.  PLUS all of the recipes I've tried from the books have been incredible.

2.  I currently have 3 kinds of peanut butter in my cupboard.  A peanut butter lover's dream.

3.  The count down for my brother's visit has officially begun!  Only a little over a month!  Woohoo!  I was so bummed that our Colorado trip we planned got cancelled because of all the snow, so I am even more excited to see him now.  Baseball, beer, and Hot Chocolate 5k-ing--we can't go wrong!

4.  Good friends and margaritas.  I was so excited to have a girls' night last weekend to celebrate National Margarita Day.  I kinda feel like every weekend should be National Margarita Day...Annnnd just realized my family and friends made it behind peanut butter on the list.  Sorry guys.  No order, promise!

5. My long run.  Crazy, right?  I'm so, so excited for Race Day (SO close!) and I know getting this run done will only add to the excitement.  Plus, it will be my first long run in the new shoes (Guide 7s--love them already after my runs last week!).

Charm City Run Rocks.  They made sure I got the pretty colors not the crazy looking ones!

Your turn!  Tell me something your excited about!  Happy, happy Friday!

**PS--I'll announce the winner of the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k entry on Monday!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weeks 16 and 17: Getting Closer!

Somehow week 16 never got documented, but to be honest, it wasn't all worth documenting.  I got my runs done, but they were all on the treadmill.

Wednesday, February 12: 5 miles on the treadmill.  I remember thinking how great this run felt and I had one of those "I love running!" moments.  I did a little bit of the Arm Definer workout on Nike Training Club followed by a few minutes of the Kara Goucher Pro Running stretch workout, but just wasn't really feeling it.  Plus, it's really hard when your dog is being super clingy.

Who?  Me?

Friday, Feburary 14: 12x800 workout with a .25 mile warmup.  This was a ridiculously tough workout.    My stomach just felt really off and I never got into the groove.  I got through it by reminding myself that it was my last set of intervals of the training plan and managed to power through.  It was a bit discouraging seeing that the pace was much slower than my outside intervals, but it was still much faster than my typical run.

Saturday, February 15: 5 miles to my beloved Wait! Wait!  This run didn't feel great either, but I was happy to be done.  I did 10 minutes of the Kara Goucher Pro Running Stretch workout on Nike Training Club after.

Sunday, February 16: A little over 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I always forget that when I neglect the elliptical for a while that it is super tough getting back into it.

I had a lot of days in between my runs for week 17.  I knew that there was hope of having amazing weather on the weekend and I wanted to make sure I took advantage of it and did my training runs outside!

Monday, February 17: I ran 5 miles on the treadmill.  Nothing special to report.

Wednesday, February 19: A workout DVD that I haven't done in FOREVER.  I only did the cardio and floor workout sections and I was so sore on Thursday it was ridiculous.

Friday, February 21: A repeat of my workout DVD plus a little extra (I got through the leg section and part of the ab section before Maddux decided he had had enough of watching me workout and started terrorizing all of his toys).

Saturday, February 22: Maddux and I went to the park and attempted a walk, but even though the temperature was nice it was still super icy.  We spent more time avoiding icy patches than enjoying our walk.  I went back to the park later in the afternoon and while there were some definite spots I avoided, it was much better.  It was my first run in the new shoes and it felt great minus some serious side cramps in the first two miles.

It was a little weird running around the lake in shorts...

Sunday, February 23:  Maddux and I hit the park again and had a much better walk.  When we got home I hit my neighborhood for a 5 mile run.  The hills in my neighborhood are always tough, but I'm hoping that they will pay off on the big day!  

I can't believe how incredible close Race Day is!  I can't wait!

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway for any Hot Chocolate 15k/5k race!  You can comment until Friday!**

Monday, February 24, 2014

One Sweet Giveaway

**Disclaimer: As part of my ambassadorship with the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k I was given a free race entry to give away to one of my readers.  As always, all opinions are my own.**

February is coming to a close and I know a lot of people aren't quite as excited about their goals as they were on say January 1.  I find one of the best motivators to get my butt out the door for a run is knowing that a race is on the calendar.  The Hot Chocolate 15k/5k has given me one free race entry (you can pick any city!) to give to one of you!

The Hot Chocolate 15k/5k has races in cities across the United States.  The full list of cities includes:

Atlanta, Georgia
Columbus, Ohio
Chicago, Illinois
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania <--Don't forget, you can use my code LINDSRUNMUG to register for this one for a free mug!

Maddux says everyone should have one of these :-)

Phoenix, Arizona
San Diego, California 
San Francisco, California
Seattle, Washington
St. Louis, Missouri
Nashville, Tennessee

There are so many amazing cities, I wish I could do them all!  

Annnnd don't forget, along with a fantastic race comes some fantastic swag.

  **If you do one of the 2015 races it will be a new season, so the goodie bag will be different, but still awesome.   

So here's the deal: Check out the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k website and figure out if any of those fabulous cities will work for you, then comment below telling me your favorite way to eat chocolate.  If you're like me and have about a thousand different ways you like to eat chocolate, keep it in one comment.  I'll only count one comment per person!  I'll randomly pick a winner on Friday, February 28, so make sure you have your comment all ready by 5pm EST.  A big THANK YOU to the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k for letting one of my readers have this opportunity!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Will Run for Chocolate: Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Philly

It's a super sweet edition of the Friday Five!  I found out this week that I was selected to be an ambassador for the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k in Philadelphia.  I'm really excited to run in this race because my brother, two of my cousins, and my uncle are also running in it!

Here are five things you need to know about the race:

1. The race starts on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps on Sunday, April 6.  Sunday races are my favorite because I don't have to stress about getting anywhere on Friday night after a long day of work.  I love that there are two race distances so it's accessible to everyone.

2. Check out the race swag.  A couple of years ago I did the Hot Chocolate 15k in DC and I absolutely love the windbreaker I got.  I'm excited to add the fleece to my running wardrobe!

3. The race benefits the Ronald McDonald house, which supports families who have really sick kids in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  Learn more about it here.

4. If you are signing up for the Philly race, feel free to use my code LINDSRUNMUG to get a free travel mug with your registration!

5. CHOCOLATE!  I'm all for running for chocolate.  The post race party includes hot chocolate (of course) and fondue.  Since I've done the race a couple of years ago they have added a mug to keep all your goodies in.  (Ok, really this should have been number one.)

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway!

Make sure to check out the blogs by Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney.  HAPPY FRIDAY!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sunsational Sunshine Burgers!

*Disclaimer: Thanks to my affiliation with Fit Approach, LLC and the Sweat Pink Ambassadors I was offered free samples of Sunshine Burgers in exchange for a review.  I did not receive any other compensation.  I was not required to give a positive review-- all opinions are my own.

Ok, guys,  once upon a time, a long time ago,  I decided that I was going to try veggie burgers.  I HATED them.  I ate one and then left the rest in my parents' freezer.  Fast forward years later, and I find myself eating a lot of vegetarian meals.  I've been trying to find alternate meals that are quick and easy, because it's so easy to go a not so healthy route when you are pushed for time.  I have been very hesitant to try veggie burgers, despite seeing some flavors that sound awesome since my first experience was so unpleasant.

When I saw that Fit Approach was offering a chance to review Sunshine Burgers I jumped at the chance.  The flavors sounded amazing and I was excited to see which one I was going to get to try.  To my surprise, when the package arrived it had boxes with six flavors (Garden Herb, Black Bean Southwest, Falafel, Shiitake Mushroom, Loco Chipotle, and Hemp and Sage Breakfast)!  In Sunshine Burgers' words, they "are made with certified organic, verified Non-GMO whole food ingredients, free of gluten, soy, corn, canola, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy or eggs."  I love that when you read the ingredients they are all real food.  Nothing you can't pronounce there!

It was so hard deciding which one to try first!

I am excited to report that I now have a healthy, go to meal on nights that I need something quick and easy.  I am completely hooked on Sunshine Burgers!  We've been having crazy amounts of snow here and I wanted something warm and cozy.  I made popovers and put a little bit of muenster cheese and a Garden Herb burger inside and it was a perfect, easy meal.  They didn't look pretty, but they sure did taste good!  I did a repeat for lunch today!

As part of the campaign, Sunshine Burgers asked us to make a recipe that shows how versatile the burgers can be.  I had been wanting to try a homemade pizza dough recipe for ages, and since I had an extra day off (it's kind of a process) I decided to make a flatbread.  I used this recipe from Runner's Kitchen (the first blog I ever followed) for the dough.  The only changes I made was adding chili powder instead of the herbs since I was planning on using the Black Bean Southwest Sunshine Burger.  After that it was simple.  I put some cheese, broccoli, a crumbled Southwest Burger and some sauteed onions and baked it for 10 minutes at 500 degrees.  You could certainly use any of the flavors of burgers and add any toppings you wanted.  It was the perfect meal after a tough 12x800 workout (and after the dough was made it was super quick to put together).

Finished product!  Yum!

If you want to try Sunshine Burgers (and if you want my opinion, you should!) you can find them in a lot of Whole Foods, My Organic Market, and Safeways in the DC area.  Not in the DC area?  Use the Store Locator on their website!

Enjoy, friends!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

11 Questions from Life Between the Miles

Having a few surprise days off has given me quite a lot of time to go through some blogs I've been meaning to catch up on, and as I was reading I saw that Sara from Life Between the Miles did a Liebster Award post.  Basically, it's a post that passes around from different bloggers to spread the love.  Because Sara and I have very similar reading lists, I figured I would just answer her questions and then you guys could play along in the comments.

Questions from Sara:
1. If you could spend the day with one famous person, who would it be and why?
Reba McEntire all the way!  She has been my idol ever since I can remember and she seems so down to earth and fun.
In theTop 10 Best Moments from my Life

2. What is an attribute you admire in others?
A sense of humor!  
3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would be the 3 things you would take with you?
Maddux, my best friend, and a good book.
Haha, couldn't leave this face behind.

4. If money was no object, what would you choose as your career?

I would totally be a dolphin trainer.
I missed my calling.

5. What is YOUR greatest achievement?
I think it was a lot of decisions that played into this one.  Basically, I moved on a gamble to do a program that had no guarantees of a real job and luckily after a ton of hard work it paid off and I am where I am today.  At the time I had to choose between an internship that would have definitely been a safer choice and this program and I can't even imagine how different my life would have been had I decided to stay in Pittsburgh.
Never would have met this guy! 

6. Why did you decide to start blogging?
Initially it was to keep tabs on my training for my second half marathon, BUT I soon realized that it only holds you accountable if you actually post and if you let others read it....  
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?

I really hate when the bottom of my pants gets wet.  Rain boots all the way!

8.What is your favorite pizza toppings?
I really love veggie pizzas (no mushrooms or uncooked onions). 
9. What is the theme song of your life?
Oh man, this is so hard.  Probably something ridiculously happy and upbeat like "It's Always a Good Time" by Owl City and Carly Rae ;-)
10. If you had $1,000 that you could spend on anything, what would you spend it on?
I would go shopping, but definitely would still shop the sales.  I think the most fun part of shopping is finding good deals :-)
Your turn!  Pick one or more of the questions and answer in the comments below!  Thanks again, Sara!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's Friday Five features things I love in honor of Valentine's Day!  Go give some love to the Friday Five's hosts Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar!

1. Maddux.  As if you didn't see this coming.  Love of my life.

PS: If you're looking to send a valentine to someone, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (Maddux's mothership) is need of beds for their pups so they don't have to sleep on a cold, hard floor while they're waiting to find a family.  You can find the link to donate here.  

2. Saucony Guides (5, 6, and soon 7 I'm sure).  I've been rotating my 5s and 6s for probably too long now.  If the weather cooperates this weekend I'm going to invest in the 7s.  It's time.  I just have to decide what color!  There are two different ones that I LOVE.  How will I choose?!

3. J&A Racing.  I cannot wait to run with them in March.  Their races are so well organized and fun.

Being wicked dorky after the Wicked 10k :)

4. Good beer on a cold day.  I'm so glad my daddy taught me the importance of good beer.  When it is this cold and it's the second time the term "snowmaggedon" has been thrown around in the past month, you know you need a beer.

I was really excited about this because my local brew, my brother's, and sister's
 were all next to each other in Total Wine.

5. Sunshine Burgers!  I just discovered these thanks to my affiliation with Fit Approach.  I've only tried one of the flavors so far, but my view on veggie burgers has completely changed.  I'm so excited to try the others! Stay tuned for a review in the next couple of days :-)

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  I hope it's full of the things you love!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Whoaaaa week 15 of the training plan is over!  Race Day is at the end of week 20.  We're almost there!!

This week I had to cram my runs in at the end, which is ok, but my legs definitely felt it.  I attempted to run on Tuesday, but all the treadmills were packed (all night....I kept checking and it never let up).  I scraped that idea and just did one of the arm workouts from Nike Training Club that gets in some leg movements as well.

Thursday: I hit the treadmill and covered 5 miles fairly quickly.  I finished before Wait! Wait! was done so that was a good feeling.  I felt great the whole run and when I got home I did the 15 minute runner stretch workout from NTC.  I should really stretch more often because it felt awesome afterwards.

Saturday: I went to the park to conquer my 12 mile long run for the week.  Friday night I debated for a lonnnng time about whether or not I wanted to do it on Saturday or Sunday.  It was supposed to be cold and snowy on Saturday and then warmer on Sunday, but rainy in the afternoon.  When I woke up at 6:45 on Saturday with a ton of energy I figured it was a sign that I should go ahead and get it done.  I'm so glad I decided to go ahead and get it done, because it was a pretty amazing run.  I took it nice and easy and while it was definitely slow, I felt great the whole time.  I felt a little bit of tightness in my right ankle at one point, but other than that life was good.

I had never done a run longer than 8 miles at the park before and I think it helped that I was constantly planning out what loop I would do next.  Probably the worst part of my run was that I got that country song "Hony Tonk BaDonkaDonk" stuck in my head for the last few miles.  It randomly popped in and I couldn't shake it for the longest time!  The most exciting part of my run was that I felt amazing afterwards!  I made three stops on my run and had a couple sips of watered down G2, some water, and a shot blok each time.  On my drive back home I had the rest of the packet of bloks and then made sure to eat some soup soon after I got home.  I know that I'll have to adjust for warmer runs (this one was in the high 20s), but at least I got it right for this run!  I had a mini celebration while I was running because I realized that it was my longest training run to date!  In previous training plans my longest was 11.5.

Maddux was fine with being perfectly lazy that day.

Sunday: Maddux and I took a cold, but great walk at the park which helped loosen up my legs a little after Saturday's long run.  In the evening I hopped on the treadmill and ran 5 slow miles.

On to week 16!  Happy running!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Where Do You Run?

I don't know if it's because it's a new month or because I made my goals for the year so vague, but I've been thinking a lot about different things I want to accomplish lately.  One thing that keeps popping up in my mind is the different states I've gotten a chance to run in the past couple of years.  I've been tossing around the idea of making a goal to run in a certain number of states, but I've been so busy lately that I haven't made any definite plans on that.  For now, in honor of the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia I'll give you five of my favorite places.

1. Washington, D.C. : Ok, so not a state, but still.  No matter how long I live in this area I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing the monuments.

2. Walt Disney World, Florida:  Basically, I'm just a big kid at heart, and I loved every minute of my Disney adventure for the Tower of Terror 10 miler.  While I don't feel the need to spend the money to do every Disney race, I would like to go back one day to do the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

3. Maryland:  What can I say, I have lots of love for my home state.  Over the years I've found some great places to run and have done some amazing low key races that are perfect for a girl who doesn't really love crowds and zero parking.

4. Virginia:  This is the state I really learned to love running for myself.  It's the state of my first half marathon and the home of my beloved J&A racing as well as Kale Racing that puts on the Mud in Your Eye cross country series that I loved running so much with my dad.  When I think of my favorite running memories, the majority happened here.

Noland Trail = Best Trail Ever. 

5. California:  Last summer I thought my running streak would be over when I went to San Diego on vacation, but I quickly learned that my runs would be the perfect way to start the day.  The weather was amazingly cool for the middle of summer and I'm a huge fan of running by the water.

I actually hit quite a few places in 2013 (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Alabama, and California) and will probably get all of those places with the exception of California again this year.

What are some of your favorite place to run?  Any states that I should add to my "must run" list?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 14 Recap

After a cold, cold, cold past couple of weeks I finally managed to get some outdoor runs in without having to put on dozens of layers.  It was so nice to be able to get some fresh air again!

Wednesday: I was so tired, but after a quick nap I managed to drag my butt to the treadmill.  The two "good" treadmills were taken, and I figured I better jump on the remaining one before I lost motivation. I don't know why, but that treadmill always feels so much harder than the other ones.  I think it's at a bit more of an incline.  I tried to keep my mind off it by listening to Wait! Wait! and managed to finish up 5 miles at a pretty decent pace.

Saturday: Maddux and I had a great walk at the park.  We enjoyed watching the geese walk all over the frozen pond.  They looked so funny and I was glad they were out on the pond instead of blocking our path!

When we got home I hit the road for a neighborhood run.  The first couple of miles were tough, but the last three felt great! I loved that all I had to wear on my run was a light long sleeve tech shirt and capris.

Sunday: I had a 10x800 run on the schedule and headed out to the trail that has the .5 mile loop.  Unfortunately the back half of the loop was covered with ice still so I had to be a little more creative.  It all ended up ok though and I even had two miles come in under a 8 minute mile pace!  It was definitely a tough run, but it felt really great.  A guy who was out running with his dog gave me a big thumbs up and said "You're KILLING it!" which gave me that extra boost!  Thanks, sir!

Miles for the Week: 15.29 <--I had to get that .04 in!
Shamrock Miles: 220.25

I got a few strength workouts in, but I couldn't tell you what days they happened on.  I did my Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, and Boy Shorts Bottom DVD one of the days and a couple of the days I used a deck of cards to workout.  Spades = Squats, Hearts = Planks, Diamonds = Pushups, and Clubs = Sit Ups.

This week was really great for getting back some motivation.  I'm not a gray, winter day kind of girl (but, really, who is?) and the sunshine did me a lot of good.

I hope everyone got a little sunshine and had some terrific runs in this "heat wave!"  Happy running!