Tag Archives: marathon

Runners Nook: Take two at 17.5 + Sweet Sweatsuit Sunday!

Did I shred last week’s performance (17.5 miles in 2 hrs 50 minutes)? After last Sunday’s shocking performance (read about it here) I wasn’t sure if I’d be even come close. Saturday prep was all about hydration and eating clean and healthy. I set Betsy to a pace of 10:10 minute miles with this being the fuel of choice.
 Honey Stinger organic energy chews. Love them! There were 10 in the pack and their size wasn’t nearly as big as last weeks Clif Shot Blocks. Another purchase of these is definitely in the future!

What can I say about this long run other than it’s was my favorite run since moving here! I was CRUISING the whole time. Well, I say cruising…others would say plodding (Joe that’s to you). I explored a few different areas and the next thing I knew I only had 5 miles left! Throughout the entire 17.5 I did long strides during the first 10 seconds of each song and with 2 miles to go I would sprint during the chorus of each song. This really helped my muscles from getting too tight from the repetitive short strides.

So how did I do?
 2 hours and 47 minutes! My average was something like 9:37 I think with a top pace of 5:55. Yay me! I think the best part of this run was that I felt no pain at all and I still had lots of energy after I was finished!

Having extra energy was a good thing because I needed it today…
 …Miss Waby in her lil’ sweatsuit for the first time. She strutted right out of hubby’s arms into mine looking all cute and ready for a fun day ahead.

Canyon Lake Park was our picnic destination today.
A Safeway bagel for baby and momma (the Everything bagel with cream cheese mixed with honey and pecans) as well as some strawberries and raspberries. I chugged my milk (my favorite post run drink) and coffee — my 2nd of 3 today, YIKES!

McDonald’s playland has nothing on a good ol’ park with fresh crisp air, dewy green grass and Vitamin D packed sunshine!

After some block building, a much needed bath and a nice Skype video call with the Wabys in Spain, not only was the fatigue setting in, but my tummy took over my mind. Willpower kept me out of the cookies and chips and I actually prepared a proper little lunch.
 Yes, another bagel, this time whole wheat. Toppings included mashed black beans with salsa, topped with cheese followed by a mixed salad with a bit of cheese and honey mustard dressing on the side. You will find out that I am the BIGGEST fan of Mexican food and I attempt to get some element of Mexican once a day!

My daughter must have sensed my soreness…she slept 2 1/2 hours which is the longest she’s slept in about 3 weeks! I glued myself to my parents ginormous (is that really how one spells that?) massage chair for about 60 minutes. Yes…I said MASSAGE CHAIR. Not the same as getting a massage but it left me almost as refreshed!

Makeup on, coffee made and snacks for baby and we were off the Old McDonald’s Farm for the second time in two days!
 This place closes for the season after Monday, so sad.

Today’s entertainment were the baby goats! 2 of them were playing/fighting! Watch the stare-down…
 I had my money on the brown one!

But like all Sweet Sundays…they must come to an end. After looking for shower gel in Safeway for what seems like ages, I was tired and in need of relaxation, so I did what any parent would do…
Sit my girl in front of some rocks while I relaxed in the chair!

It’s a great week ahead! Labor Day is tomorrow and both hubby and I have the day off. I can’t tell you what we are doing but I’ll give you a hint, we are having breakfast with the presidents 😉 My mom’s bday is Tuesday and on Friday we are packing up the Jeep for a 3 day weekend in Sioux Falls…oddly enough I’m very excited as it’s MY 30th BIRTHDAY on Saturday so I hope to see a few friends, schedule some playdates and best of all…I get to see my brother that I have not seen in 5 YEARS! 5 YEARS, I know…and I get to meet his two children which I’ve never met.

So what are you up to for Labor Day weekend?

Have a Sweet Sunday night and a Marvelous Monday.



Filed under Baby Nook, Runners Nook

Runners Nook: 17.5 with a Sweet Sunday on Top!

My Sweet Sunday was minus a hubby for half the day. This made me very sad. Sunday’s are OUR family day, our Sweet Sunday. I was even more sad because my body is still feeling like hell after this mornings 17.5 miles. I apologize for the language but no other word will work. Every muscle fiber from the hips down  are still shaking and when I walk my little girl around, I can’t keep up with her!

But I still had hubs for the first half of Sweet Sunday! I was out the door at 6:30am; the sun was hidden nicely behind some clouds which kept the first few hours of running pleasant and almost on the verge of cool! My choice of fuel during today’s long run was the Clif block shots.

It was my first time trying them. I loved the flavor (strawberry) and the texture. It was miles softer than say a gummy bear but not quite as soft as a warm piece of saltwater taffy. I fueled up with 2 blocks at 8 miles, mile 13 and again at 15 miles. The only complaint is that I had to fold the package in half in order to fit in my running belt. The taste is way better than gels but I like how a gel takes me about 15 minutes to finish versus the 2 minutes for the cubes. Ok, enough running nerd fuel talk.

The run was amazing! I ventured into some new territory which always spices things up. After 10 miles my body felt great and I picked up the pace. I’m working hard on practicing the second half of the run faster than the first half. I would do a fast run for about 15 seconds at the beginning of every song on my Ipod and then go back to my regular pace the remainder of the song. It felt so good to stretch my legs out like this every few minutes.

I was feeling great and moving fast…and then…mile 15. The sun was hiding no more. It was beating down on me hard, it was now hot and I just couldn’t seem to find my stride. I was slowing down big style. My goal was to finish under 3 hours and I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it. Thank goodness for the extra water I got during a bathroom break…about 2 bottles went down the front and back of me. Then something miraculous happened, a burst of energy with 1 mile to go! I was back to sprints and a pace I could be proud of!

I finished in:

2 hours and 50 minutes. My average pace was 9:45 with 7:02 being my best pace (during the sprints of course)!! I was shocked 🙂 I would like to take this time to thank my husband for giving me my Betsy as an earlier bday gift (Forerunner 305), I feel like my old running-self again and even though I’m exhausted, I can’t wait to run again on Wednesday!

Onto food! I met little bug and hubby for bagels at Black Hills Bagels!

I just love these little independent places. The inside was like a chilled coffee shop meets a little cafe.

3 bagels, 1 coffee and 1 iced jasmine green tea later (YUM btw) and we were off to our picnic at Story Book Island!

Hubby had spinach and cheese bagel with onion and chive cream cheese, little bug decided on a whole wheat with fresh strawberry cream cheese (of course we had to scrap off over 1/2 the cream cheese, it was a pink explosion on there), I opted for the California sunflower seed with almond honey cream cheese. I would rate it about a 7. I didn’t order the right combo. Hubby’s bagel was fantastic, rich and addicting compared to mine. But not all hope was lost. Little bug only had a little bit of hers so I sampled hers and it tasted like a little dessert! I also fell in love with the jasmine green tea, so there’s another thing.

Story Book Island was a success, as it should be! Any place that combines slides, swings, Disney and nursery rhythms is a winner for anyone…not just families!

The rest of the day is going to be spent chillin’ with the neighbors, playing with my vintage Playschool toys and recovering in the tub later tonight! My parents are putting the little one to bed so I can take a long soak in the Jacuzzi tub! Yay for free babysitters 🙂

Hope the rest of your Sunday is as sweet as mine!

Let me know what you were up to on this fine day!
Runners, what is your preferred fuel on long runs? 


Filed under Runners Nook

Runners Nook: Breakfast at the Beach

Bee-bee-bee-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep…what the heck, my virtual running partner decided to work 8 miles into my run! “Faster” it flashed. That Forerunner 405 had just turned into a monster!

While my fellow American’s are celebrating the nation’s birthday on this long 4th of July weekend, I had a mini-celebration of my own — 12.5 miles (my longest run in 2 years and 4 months)! You may not find that exciting. In fact, you may just find that, that is punishment. But this girl…oh, I had such a great run! My knees and quads aren’t totally in agreement as I type this but oh, I’m so excited to tell you about it!

With my running-belt full, a snack for the halfway point, electronics charged and 8 hours of sleep, I was as prepared as I could be! I decided it was time to start practicing my realistic split times. I wanted to run the first 4.2 miles around 10:30, the second 4.2 miles at 10:05 and the last 4.1 miles at 9:50.

I started at 7:30, the weather was a bit overcast, slightly warm but not yet hot. P.S. it is almost 100 degrees everyday at this point! Those first 4.2 miles of going slow was not easy. I had to mentally say, “slow down, slow down.” That first leg would also be my last leg and it included 4 hills! Lovely, huh but after all the practice of running up the mountain to Mijas during the week, these  — what were once large hills — now seemed more like bumps in the road!

First 4.2 miles average: 10:25

Now I was on flat surface and sped up a bit to a comfortable jog that I know I can hold for a good 10 miles! This was “my time to think” leg of the run. So…what the heck do I think about when I run?

  • I hold a secret fashion contest, who is wearing the craziest outfit today. The winner was a short, very, very old man with long shiny white hair in black spandex legging, a white shirt that was clearly too big and a black bandana with tiny sunglasses!
  • I determine whether the people I see are still out from the night before (very common here). Today’s great sitings: There were 5 girls posing on the beach that could barely stand up. Then a few miles later, a very smelly 30-something male with a 1/2 empty beer bottle strolling along the boardwalk!
  • Who has the cutest dog contest
  • What clothes I need to buy when I move
  • What will I make for supper this week
  • Where is the bathroom!
  • Why aren’t there more public restrooms here!

Second 4.2 miles average: 10:06

Then something terrible happened…my Forerunner 405 (on loan from brother-in-law) started yelling at me! Bee-Bee-Bee-Beep-Beep-Beep-Beep-Beep. What the duece? The virtual training partner kicked in! I had completely forgotten about it. I WAS NOT HAPPY! I was already planning on picking up the pace and now this wrist accessory, this awful monster on my wrist, this THING had the NERVE to tell me “FASTER” every bloody 20 seconds!

My legs were almost shot…I said “almost.” I busted through and kicked it up many notches! Eat that Mr. Evil Forerunner! 4 hills later and my lower back started yelling at me as well, but I kept those abs tight and pushed through! I had many Chariots of Fire moments! Lucky me with .10 to go, I see my little girl out to brekkie with her nana and granddad. Huge smiles and longer strides to end this 12.5 miles the strongest I could!

Last 4.1 miles average: 9:36

I felt amazing, relieved and proud! A round of applause please!

Now time for some grub! The best part about the beach at 9:30am…hardly anyone is there!

A big blanket and the Mediterranean Sea makes for a good stretching atmosphere!

The shoes needed a break as well! I’ve had these for 1 year. 1 YEAR! I normally switch after 4 months. I must say that these are shot to hell! First trip (possibly 2nd trip after Target) in the US will probably be to buy new shoes!

I love stretching, but this is what I would have rather done!

Now time for some brekkie! On today’s menu was Oats in a Jar which I have about 6 out of 7 days a week. I love this easy breakfast…thanks to Kath Eats Real Food!
1/3 c. oats
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. yogurt
1/2 banana
pop in a jar, stir and leave in ‘fridge overnight!

It was just me, my oats and the views!
‘ You see that bit of land sticking out on the right, that is about 4 miles into the run 🙂

With aching muscles it was time for an ice bath, but I thought to myself…why not get in the sea?
Unfortunately and fortunately, the sea is finally warm, so I did what any 29-year-old does…jump around into the crashing waves! I felt 10-years old-again! Needless to say I was drenched from the waist down. Wet feet and sand…not a combo I’m a fan of 😉

Bath, baby time, baby nap time, mommy rest time and back up again and it was time for my in-laws to spoil me a bit! Today they took me and little bug to this great little traditional Spanish fish restaurant on the beach where we met up with the brother-in-law and his wife.

In Spain, traditionally everyone orders together a few large raciones of the lovely fried fish, salad and sides and then shares. At first glance it looks disgusting, but it is to die for, especially today. Everything tasted a bit crunchier and fresher (or is it more fresh) than the last time!
I can’t remember everything we ordered buy there was a mixed salad, fried boquerones (my favorite), fried sardines, fries, fried baby salmon (I think) and a few other bits! It doesn’t feel unhealthy either; they are prepared with a light batter and fried to crispy perfection. All they needed was a little vinegar and some lemon 🙂

Baby did just fine with some bread. She wasn’t too impressed with the place as she preferred to go wave-watching.

The day finished with some time at the park, always a weekend tradition.
Well, I’m exhausted, hubby is now home from England with flapjacks for me — yay, so I must go!

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans!

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Filed under Runners Nook, Travel

Runners Nook: My Excuses for Not Running

The whole day “when am I going to get my run in,” “I’ve gotta run,” “I can’t miss this run,”  plagued my mind.  I was reminded on Friday why I am a morning runner.

Friday 6:10am, it’s dark and silent…except for the wind. I hate wind. I hate wind like I hate baked beans (which btw is probably the only food I won’t eat). It took a whopping 1 minute to decide not to head out the door for my 5 miles.

Here were my excuses:
1. I can hear wind therefore it must be too cold to run right? After all it is June in southern Spain 😉

2. My body is shattered from Zumba the day before

3. My body is telling me I need a break

4. I really do NOT want to run up that mountain again for the 3rd time this week

5. My bed is warm and comfortable

6. I want to sleep

Pretty pathetic, huh. I did not go back to sleep because my brain was already in “thinking” mode for the day. Upon getting out of bed, the wind was nothing more than a breeze. BUT, my body was telling me that I needed a bit of a break.

So the whole day I kept thinking and thinking about when I would get my run in. Friday after hubby gets home…it’s all about the grocery shop. I hated that I skipped out on the run, it’s a training run and a 5 miler and I really needed that run.

Then there was the location to consider. Up the Mijas mountain again. Let me explain. Hubby sold his car, so until we move we are borrowing a car which I’m not covered on; therefore, if I want to run, I have to run up up up up and up some more to Mijas. But there is good news in this. I can officially run all the way up there! It’s a 10 minute up-hill, or in my case, up-mountain killer. Everything from my lungs to my heart to my toe nails kills by the time I reach the flat surface of the village. I’m proud of this accomplishment, but it’s like the wind, and baked beans….I’d prefer to do without. (Other Mijas Mt runs click here, here, here)

So…after a day of mind tricks I DID get my run in at 7:30pm. Here’s what I saw:

Mile 1:

Mile 2:
I was moving while sneaking in that photo. They must have thought I was stalking them!

Mile 3:

Mile 4:
Yes, that is a sign for the donkey taxis. The sign above should say “you can’t miss the smell.”

Mile 5:
I decided to take a picture of the zero because I had zero to go! I’d like you to think that but really I wasn’t thinking straight and really should have snapped the 5 in there!

Moral of the story, if your body says to “take a break,” then do so. But otherwise, all excuses aside, just get out of bed, get it done and over with!

Happy, Happy Weekend!


Filed under Runners Nook, Travel, Travel Nook

Runners Nook: 10 Miles with a Churro on Top

The ten mile run is beginning to be my favorite distance. No, I’m not crazy…yet anyways. But really, I am beginning to enjoy the couple of hours that my mind is allowed to wander and think about anything I want to think about. I’ll admit though, I think about really lame things like what I need to get done in the next week or what dishes will I prepare for the family. With tourist season starting to hit hard though I like to make up stories in my mind about the people I see. Why are they visiting Spain? Why are they wearing THAT? Are they still “out” from the night before? I wonder if she is doing the walk of shame? This is a great way to occupy the mind during a marathon as well 😉

It was an “easy” 10 although the mornings are becoming sweltering hot by 8. The first 5 miles were about 9:50 minute miles and the last 5 were at 9:40 each. I think I was going faster on the last half because it was CHURRO DAY!!! I just couldn’t wait to get home and get ready to FINALLY experience churros in Spain.

In case you didn’t know, churros originated in Portugal (not Taco Johns) and are sometimes referred to as the Spanish Donut. To experience churros the proper way, we headed to a churreria in Fuengirola which is situated just a 10 minute drive from where I live.

 Churros taste best at a churreria because they are made fresh on location, not bought in.

Don’t be fooled, it’s not coffee although that was close at hand. This is a thick, bitter hot chocolate sauce for churro dippin’ greatness.

The waitor brought this out first just to tease me I think!

18-20 churros…6 people…you do the math!

I can barely finish 1 Taco John churro, much-less 3 churros WITH silky chocolate sauce!!! Yay for that 10 miler I just ran 🙂

They come to the table fresh and hot. It kind of looks like a long donut.

Donuts are very cakey though and these were airy. The outer shell was crispy but not too crispy. In Madrid they coat churros with sugar but in the Andalusia area they leave the sugar off.

And why ruin it with extra sugar when there is chocolatey dippage involved!

It was not a problem takin’ down three of these bad boys. They tasted similar to a cake donut but lighter and not so sugary and that crispy outer shell set them apart from any donut I’ve ever encountered! I didn’t feel guilty eating these either! Normally I’d feel gross after finishing 3 pastries but the lightness of the churros, even with the chocolate, were a perfect late morning snack.

10 miles, churros, family time…it was a great way to spend Saturday morning!

You can never be too old to display food proudly!

And what is the perfect way to spend a late Saturday afternoon?
Working on birthday invitations for little bug’s upcoming 1st birthday! I’ll post the finish product next time.

On a quick note, a friend wanted to know what kind of beets I buy, here is what they look like:

It’s an easy running week so I’m going to add a day of cross-training in. Not sure what I’ll do, I’m thinking yoga and a long obstacle course with lots of resistance training.

Sorry, this is so short and sweet but I want to spend the last weekend hours with hubby and the Dark Knight! Here are some things I’m going to talk about this week!

Nutrition Nook: I’m trying out homemade mayo!

Momma and Baby Moves: Working out with a clingy baby

(New) Baby Nook: Build up to little bug’s birthday, I’ll show our “go to” items from our first year as parents

5 Minute Workout: total body workout

And hopefully I’ll get to cross out more items on my Kristen’s Wishlist of things to do before we move list
Visit the Buddhist Temple in Benalmadena
Eat homemade churros with chocolate
Learn how to make Spanish tortilla
Visit Portugal again
Revisit Rhonda
Hit up as many ferias in the area during the summer (Spanish fairs)
Head up to the International Food Festival in Mijas
Take little bug to the Zoo
Actually eat the pastries I take so many pictures of
Find a Spanish antique store and buy some treasures to bring back to America
Have lunch in Old Marbella in Orange Square
Drink lots of Spanish wine
Eat even more Spanish cheese (ongoing)
Take as many photos as possible (ongoing)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!


Filed under Runners Nook, Travel, Travel Nook

Travel Nook: The American Runner in Paris (part trois)

What the deuce does that mean?  Well, if you’ve been keeping up, I’m going through Kristen’s Why I Love Paris List! I’m Kristen by the way! Check here and here for parts 1 and 2.

The first thing I learned in Paris is that Paris is not cheap. Have a said that? Oh, yes, I have many times over. One snippet of advice I found useful when reading through Paris travel reviews was to picnic under the Eiffel Tower. Well, we took that one step further! To save euros we picnicked at multiple major attractions!

Kristen’s Why I Love Paris List:
Paris is the BEST city for Picnics

Above was morning 1 brekkie at Luxembourg Park (which was situated across from our hotel). The park was massive and perfect for my first Paris run as well as breakfast. On Sundays when most places are closed, you could find a few thousand Parisians having picnics, playing football (soccer), battling it out of the tennis courts, catching a snooze under a tree, reading novels or just having ice cream or some drinks (which we did both during our trip)!

Another afternoon we took our lunch to De Louvre! Two sandwiches, 2 bags of chips and a bottle of French dessert wine and you’ve got fun in the Paris sun! Chillin’, people watching, and a bit of drink…our idea of heaven. €10 compared to the €40 we would have paid in a restaurant…our version wins hands down. This was a lot more fun and had a pretty good view if I do say so myself!

My parents must be so proud to see their 29-year-old daughter showcasing that gem of a photo!

It’s been a while since I mentioned the Eiffel Tower. I think it’s time to bring it up again!

Sunday lunch was a hit with our butts parked under the Eiffel Tower! 1 sandwich, 2 slices of quiche and 2 tall beers and it was another 4-star lunch. Families and couples surrounded this astonishing site, all taking in the rays, filling their tummies and snapping dozens of photos!

Pictures do not come close to showing how ridiculously cool this was.

Did I mention we got there by bike?

This brings me to another portion of Kristen’s Why I Love Paris List

Paris is (one of) the best cities for Fitness!
Biking, walking, or running, Paris is a great city for keeping fit.

Paris as well as Barcelona, London and other cities here in Europe have a great rental biking system. I don’t know if the US does this or not but they NEED to! All we had to do was find a biking station – which were minutes apart from each other – type in a credit card number for the deposit (€150 per bike) and then you hear a click which is your bike freeing itself from the docking station just waiting to explore!

It took about 20 minutes to get there. Paris is very bike friendly and even on the busy bus-filled streets I felt completely safe. I am so glad we did this, what an unique and awesome why to see this city. For a 24 hour pass, it cost us about 30 euros. If we would have “docked” the bikes at stops every 30 minutes, we could have done it for half the price (first half hour is free, you just pay a daily charge).

We then biked to the famous Moulin Rouge which was a good 30-40 minutes in traffic.

Biking was a great way to see beautifully designed museums and other architecture that we normally would not have seen via bus tour. The bikes became very useful when scouting out a restaurant for the night! Luckily we only got lost/side-tracked once 🙂

Walking in Paris was like being in a movie. Walking is the perfect way to see the sites up close and personal in order to see every single detail. Apart from the bus tour and the bikes, we walked everywhere including from the Eiffel Tower on our last day to the Champs-Elysees to do some window shopping!

The details are out of this world!

A few drinks and a few shops later (Paris Nike was a HUGE disappointment), we walked all the way back to our hotel which by this point we were tired and sore. I am so glad we walked though because we turned onto a random side street and ended up being surrounded by independent art galleries, artist studios and clothing stores. I was strolling the streets but it felt more like I was in a museum.

This is just another little bar we stopped at for a drink. There were these four American girls (about 23 I’m guessing) and I remember how I could hear them about 1/2 a block away. Here is their conversation reenactment: please imagine high and annoying!

Girl 1: So like are we going go out for coffee like before shopping?!
Girl 2: Ahh, yeeeeaaaah like I could sooo go for like a coffee right now!
Girl 3: So, coffee, shopping and then how about gelato!
Girl 4: Ohh, gelato sounds like sooo amazing!
Girl 1: So, coffee, shopping and gelato. That sounds like soo perfect. Oh I just love Paris!

I know words can’t convey what they sounded like. Like. Like. Like! Does everyone now speak every sentence like it’s a question? Just asking. I’m not judging. I just though I should get the DL on how Americans speak so I can practice and convert for our big move over. Ahh…wait a minute!

Ok, now back to Paris. More importantly RUNNING IN PARIS! It was alright…

If you call seeing the Eiffel Tower almost the whole time “alright.” Going past the most famous museums and monuments before the touristy hustle and bustle started up…that was alright I guess!

3 miles one day and 5 miles another day. I WISH I would have had a 7 or 10 mile run because then I would have made it to the ET!

These pics weren’t taken during the run but I swear I ran right by them! No one was out except other runners, walkers, bikers and shop-keepers. It was a runners heaven.  The city was so silent and all the more beautiful!

I’m thrilled how we saw Paris. We only took the train to travel from the airport to the hotel otherwise it was bus tour, bike, walk, run! And because of this I feel like I know this city better than any other city I’ve ever travel to. I wasn’t stuck seeing tub station after tub station. Instead, we saw every shop imaginable, views of the ET from every angle and distance, what people ordered at the bakery, how Parisians dressed compared to us tourists, what kinds of vehicles are driven, what dishes were typically eaten at the little bistros…it’s those little things that makes a city what it is…what gives the city its life! I am completely and “like totally” in love with Paris. I’m so glad we scrimped and saved for 6 months to make it happen.

I lied though, I am going to do one more Paris post sometime in a few weeks. I’m going to showcase our Paris highlight and my biggest disappointment about Paris 😉

I hope you enjoyed a few bits I loved about our trip and that I didn’t bore you too much!

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Nutrition Nook: Just Beet It!

After 5 days of family fun, my life is slowly getting back into the usual routine…if you call moving across the globe, planning little bug’s birthday party and our going away party routine. It is t-minus 2 months and 1 day till we leave Spain and with all the sorting, throwing, selling, packing as well as spending time with family, day-to-day responsibilities, marathon training, blogging and “Wishlist of things to do before leaving Spain,” I’m surprised we (I) haven’t gone a bit loco!

Today was the first full day of getting back to normal and I tried going at it full-force with my push-ups and 5 minute workout. Today it was 5 sets (23, 20, 22, 20, 25) with 1 minute rests in-between. I must have a chat with that hubby of mine about when we are getting back to our 100 pushup challenge?!

My 5 minute workout I had to do with little bug playing on her activity table while I watch a horrendous program special called Fast Food Babies. It’s about babies and toddlers who only eat fast food. Appalling, disgusting and sad is all I can say about that! Don’t even get me started about fast food and the politics behind it. Anyways, here is what went down during my 5 minute workout:

Deep Plie Squats*: 15-20 (I did a few Plie Jump Squats in there as well)
Pilates Bicycle: 50
Ball exchange (minus the ball): 25
Plank with leg lift*: 10 lifts per leg
I got through this about 2 1/2 times in 5 minutes

*If you are pregnant, I highly recommend deep plie squats. They are great for opening up the pelvis and strengthening the muscles down there. Do them slowly and hold at the bottom for a few seconds. Plank with leg lifts are also safe during pregnancy as long as it doesn’t cause pain or discomfort. They are great for keeping your core area tight.

Today’s juice for this momma was carrot, orange, ginger and pear! Yummy and very energizing. The vitamin A and C overload is exactly what my body needed after all the crap (aka too much beer and spirits) I took in over the last week. Little bug had many sips and gave a giddy approval.
Notice that crappy weather? Where is summer?!!!! Grrrr.

Little bug had a milk shake (formula) mixed with 3 strawberries and 1/4 pear.
A guzzle champ this kid is with her smoothie. I’m so proud that she’s taking it out of a glass since she isn’t a big fan of the sippy cup. I was having problems getting her to take her afternoon formula from anything except a bottle, but once I switched to fresh juice with cooled formula/water mixture, she started drinking from a glass like a pro!

So for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been getting my “beet on.” Beet Root that is! I tried juicing it, but realized in about 10 seconds that this was not ideal or possible for that matter, so out came the Magic Bullet for a little smoothie action.

Beet root, I feel, is an acquired taste but don’t be a wimp and shy away, just keep trying it and learn to love it! Here’s the DL on beet root (per 3.5 ounce serving):
Protein: 8g
Fat: 3g
Carbs: 23g
Dietary Fiber: 6g
Calories: 175
Summary: Although it’ll stain most things it touches, this is a perfect little piece of food. Decent in the protein and fiber and just the right amount of calories to sustain the tummy for a while!

Here’s a bit more love that the BR gives.
-Reduces cholesterol
-Aides in liver production: FYI on this, when the liver is functioning properly, fats are broken down efficiently, aiding weight loss, and preventing fatigue and nausea (that last part is great for pre and post pregnancy).
-Aides in healthy nails, skin, ligament, tendons and bones
-Boosts stamina
Natures Viagra: One of the earliest known benefits of beetroot is its use as an aphrodisiac during the Roman times.
-Fights Cancer
-For women, it improves menstrual problems as well as cures anemia

Beet root as also been coined as a new “super food” for it’s detoxifying qualities and drastically reducing high blood pressure!

Drink it up baby! I usually blend with a few strawberries and a bit of yogurt and water. But today I also cut it up with celery, cucumber, grapes then mixed with a bit of Greek yogurt to make a salad!

Suck it up and give it a go. With all the health benefits, it’s worth the time to get used to it. Studies say it takes a baby 16 “tries” to get used to a food…so…if after 16 “tries” and you still don’t like beet root…then…try it again!

Happy Hump Day!


Filed under 5 minute workouts, Ab Workouts, Leg Workout, Nutrition Nook, Pregnacy, Runners Nook

Runners Nook: Blonde Ponytail’s Cheering Section

When running a marathon, 1/2 marathon, 10k, 5k…any distance for that matter, a cheering section is just as essential as your playlist, good running socks, and hydration.

This weekend one of my favorite bloggers, Blonde Ponytail is running the Windermere Marathon in Spokane. Little Bug and I will be cheering her on from Spain.

May the Ninja force be with you, the bathroom lines short, the toilet paper in supply and the adrenaline pumping high!

Cheering you at the starting line!

Running, short on energy? Here are some extra gels for ya! Hope you don’t mind that they’re 3 years old 🙂

Mile 21! Go Blonde Ponytail Go!! Don’t stop now!

At the finish line! You did it!

I don’t care if you’re sweaty…here’s a big hug!
Eww…you need a shower!

Good Luck Blonde Ponytail. You’re gonna rock!

Always support runners/walkers even if you don’t know them. From mile 0 all the way to the finish line we need every cheer, every clap, every bit of support.


Filed under Runners Nook

Confessions of a Cookie Addict

Confession numero uno: Five cookies worth of dough and four freshly baked cookies yesterday has me making today dubbed Training Tuesday! Damn that Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe, you are EVIL and should be destroyed!!!

Ok, not really. Did I ever mention my weakness for cookies? Forget sweets, candy, chips (crisps), cakes and even most chocolate…the cookie…let me be more specific…the American-style cookies are my true food weakness. One bite, one spoonful of dough and it’s a done deal. I will be dipping in and out of sugar rushes all day long always wanting another cookie fix, I’ll be searching high and low for something equally as good, I’ll promise myself over and over “only one more.” Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone?

I did pretty good to only have 4 fresh ones though, so that’s something right? So when the sun peaked it’s little head through my curtains at 6:30am (that’s like 4am for me), it was shoes on, water in hand, tunes in ears and up the mountain for today’s 3 mile run in preparation for the Run Crazy Horse marathon.
I almost made it all the way up before needing a walk break. I was so tired and I’m amazed and so proud I almost ran up, up, up that crazy mt! Yay me! I was in slow-mo though and all I could think about was on Friends when Chandler and Joey would watch Baywatch! Once in town it was an easy 2 kilometers of flatness before returning downhill.

I wasn’t satisfied though.

Did I mention I ate five cookies worth of dough and four freshly baked cookies? That run would not suffice! It’s Push-ups time!

Confession numero dos: Hubby and I haven’t been doing the pushup challenge for about 9 days now! Slap me in the face, I know! How could I commit to a fitness challenge and NOT carry through with it? Who does such a thing?

HAVE NO FEAR, an excuse is HERE! When hubby went to Madrid for his US paperwork medical exam, he was on the bad end of a needle and came home with 2 shots, one of them being a tetanus shot. A sore-armed hubby, then Paris, and now a sunburned hubby…it’s been put on the back-burner till further notice. I’ve done the pushups on my own a few times but I prefer a cheering section! But, I am going to maintain my pushups until we start up again. Today I did 5 sets (keeping with the 100 pushup challenge style): 20, 20, 21, 22, 25. That’s pretty swell in my book! During the 1 minute rests I combined running my little “field,” doing jumping jacks and standing side crunches for a little mini-obstacle course. And I did have one very loud and needy cheerleader!

Confession numero tres: Little bug and I have not done our Mommy & Baby workouts for about 2 weeks. What kind of a fitness role model am I 😉 Feeling a little better about the whole cookie incident but not completely satisfied, I incorporated Mommy & Baby move (Ball Bridge) into a 5 Minute Ab Workout! Here’s what it looked like on paper/screen.

1. Ball bridge with Baby and added press ups: 20 each
2. Ball crunches: 25
3. Ball planks: hold for 10-15 seconds
4. Ball knee tucks: 10
Repeated a few times until I was needed

I do not encourage self-pics during a baby ball bridge!

I do encourage recycled objects like yogurt containers, empty water bottles and big rocks (as long as they know to keep them out of their mouths) as outdoor toys for distraction during other exercises! P.S. she prefers this over most her other toys! Eat that Fisher Price 🙂 (I still love you though, don’t worry)

Nap time for babes and a shower for momma and I finally felt alright about the unmentionable item consumed in large quantities yesterday.

On the positive side, I’m still taking in lots of decaf teas and freshly squeezed juices!
That one is kiwi and strawberry! Little bug also takes a bit mixed in with her formula. She’s hates formula out of her sippy cup. Who could blame her though, that stuff smells vile…but mixed with a few strawberries and it’s chug, chug, chug for her!

Here’s my week of running (Marathon training Week 3):

Hopefully I can keep my hands out of the cookie jar and cookie mixing bowl for that matter!

I hope all you mommy’s had a great Mother’s Day! I know I did 🙂

Here’s something to make you smile:

I feel I can relate any story to Friends, Sex and the City or Seinfeld!

Coming Tomorrow: The American Runner in Paris (part duex)…it involves food!!!!!


Filed under 5 minute workouts, Ab Workouts, Mommy & Baby Moves, Runners Nook, Travel Nook, Upper Body Workouts

Sore, tired and ready for Paris

My body has entered a new state of soreness! 2 days of major fitness: 5 mile run (up the mountain I might add), Ab Ripper PX90 workout (bless youtube), 100 pushup challenge, ZUMBA and an insane getting-longer-by-the-minute to-do list and I must say that tomorrow’s vacation could not taste any better. I won’t be surprised if I’m having a beer at the airport at 9am.

Speaking of taste, hubby brought this home for me from Madrid.
No biggie to you but to this peanut butter addict, it’s utter bliss. It’s worth every gram of sugar that I’m trying to cut down on. In southern Spain, these do not exist! Can you believe it!

And now speaking of cutting sugar. I HAVE NOT HAD MY AFTERNOON COFFEE ALL WEEK!!! That means my coffee-loving self as only been ingesting 1 cup a day. This occasion calls for a bit of the Carlton Banks dance!

I can’t help but think of my brother Scott every time I watch this!

My coffee habit has been replaced by a juicing habit! I HAVE been a busy girl!
Plum and Pear! It was so delicious, it felt sinful.

Yet more carrot apple and ginger. It’s hard to beat this one.

So since I couldn’t beat it, I tried beet root and strawberry and yogurt in a smoothie! What a vitamin punch. More energy than a redbull 🙂

Do I feel a difference? You betchya I do. My afternoon slump has vanished. But, I actually do enjoy the taste of coffee so I’m tempted to grab a decaf tin the next time I’m out and try having it without sugar. Now onto giving up that morning coffee! NOT, Yeah whatever, AS IF,  oh no you didn’t…I just love it too much to Just Say No!

So the day is almost upon me. Paris baby! Not quite the same as London baby, huh?

Sadly, we will be jetting off without OUR baby. Many tears have been shed by this new momma, but after crunching the numbers repeatedly, 2 unexpected Madrid trips in 9 days for hubby’s US paperwork and Paris in all in the same did not add up. We could not reschedule the trip without losing out on hundreds of euros so we opted for the decision to leave little bug with Nana and Granddad. I’m trying to see the silver lining as much as possible. This will be hubby and my chance to sleep in, stay out late, and do whatever we please, as we please. She’ll be ok. Mommy may not be totally ok, but I’ll make it.

So, this is me signing off for a few days. You bet I’ll bring some sweet updates though about my hotel workouts, eating yummy new foods and being the American Runner in Paris!

…do you remember my Lent sacrifice? 40 days and 40 nights without beer?! How did I do? Easy, peasy! I never cheated once! The easiest Lent ever. A bit too easy if you ask me. That first drink was delightful!


Filed under Nutrition Nook, Travel, Travel Nook