Archive | November, 2011

30 for 60 Challenge Update #1

30 Nov

Good evening friends! Unfortunately my FitBlog Chat moderator debut has been postponed due to technical difficulties! So you get two posts from me in one day instead!


Coachy and I are hosting a 30 for 60 Challenge (In case you haven’t heard). 



A couple of updates from the challenge:

  1. We are up to 53 participants (not including me and Coachy!)
  2. I’ve added TWO NEW PRIZE CATEGORIES
    • Most weight lost (My mommy’s idea)
    • Most workout variety (Coachy’s idea)
And there you have it folks! Tomorrow is the last day to sign up, which I should clarify just consists of leaving a reply here or on the original post, or tweeting at me @runcupcake or Coachy @runbikesurf

So put on your workout variety thinking caps, dust off your neglected scales, and lets get active!

You may want to also check out Colleen over at The Fit Bee – she’s doing a challenge as well, and the two fit perfectly together. It’s called Getting Back to Basics – she’s so hard core she’s participating in both! Who else wants to be hard core?  I’m joining her challenge as well.  My major problem this time of year is sweets, so I’m vowing to indulge wisely and not go crazy.

So, who’s joining 30 for 60? Who’s joining Getting Back to Basics? Who wants to be one of the cool kids and DO BOTH?! 

Have a great night my friends!

Foodie Penpals Round 3 – November Edition

29 Nov

Wow, another month GONE! Can you believe it? Where does the time go?


If you don’t know what Foodie Penpals is by now (since this is the third time you’re hearing about it from me) check out Lindsay’s Foodie Penpal Introductory Post, and my September and October posts.


This month the goods came from Carissa and Kyle from Fit2Flex*. I love the tagline on their blog, “Healthy body, clean food, heavy weights, happy marriage.” SO CUTE.


Anyway, on to the goods:

My “birthsgiving” goodies with a pretty pink bow!  Carissa tells me that Kyle is almost 30 too, YAY I’m not the oldest person in blog land (sometimes I feel like I am…)
I cannot wait to try this – I don’t have a coffee grinder though! Can you take your coffee to Starbucks and ask them to grind it for you?
I’ve never heard of shelled hemp seed before! (I plan on putting it in this afternoon’s salad!)
I forgot I had this, or I would’ve eaten it after my 5k on Turkey Day. Strawberry-Cranberry is a great fall-ish flavor too. I’m going to have it after my next 5k on Sunday – I’ll report back!
This little guy has taken up residence in the pocket of my favorite hoodie.  Two things I don’t go far without: chapstick and a hoodie! I love Rudolph, he’s so cute! (She thinks I’m cuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!)
I’m eating this as I write – it tastes just like a regular Hershey’s Bar, but the texture is light and fluffy. I think I prefer this over regular Hershey’s!
Yum, yum, yum. I loves me some truffles.
Carissa and Kyle put together what they called a “naughty and nice” penpal package, but I’m calling it all nice hehehe. Thanks guys, this is great!

SIDE NOTE: An update from last month’s penpal package: Thank you Kayla,  I am addicted to Snackimals and Clif Z bars! My mother thought I was crazy when I came home from the grocery store with a bag of animal crackers LOL 

That’s all for this month’s package! Check out Lindsay’s post  for all of the Foodie Penpals action for all involved!  Want to join us? Email Lindsay and let her know! 



Lots to Love this Monday

29 Nov

Holy moly, there is SO MUCH good to talk about lately so lets get right to it.


1) THE WEATHER. The weather here has been PHENOMENAL lately. Sunny (most days), mild – shorts and tee running weather! I’m about to write a love letter to Mother Nature (maybe it will convince her to keep it this way????).


2) The 30 for 60 Challenge. 50 51 people have signed up so far (and that does not include me or Coachy). Two more days to sign up! I really love how many people are willing to participate in a fitness challenge smack dab in the middle of the holiday season! I can’t wait to see how it goes. And speaking of the holidays…


3) I’m moderating FitBlog Chat this week! Yes, that’s right! The theme, “Oh Heavens, It’s the Holidays Again”. We’re going to be talking about maintaining fitness habits, avoiding overindulgence, maintaining self control, you name it! I hope to see you all there! Remember, it starts Tuesday night at 9 p.m. (EST) Follow the hashtag #fitblog or sign in to the FitBlog Chat website Tuesday night for all the fun! 


4) Learning proper sit-up and push-up form. My brother is in the National Guard, so I asked him to teach me how to do proper sit-ups and push-ups. Turns out, sit-ups are much harder than crunches. And much more effective. Little bro’ told me that doing sit-ups versus crunches will work my entire abdomen, as well as my hip flexors (which I so need). I can feel it in my hip flexor area when I do them, this is going to be so fantastic for strengthening my weak, left hip. I can also see how my upper abs are stronger (and more defined) than my lower abs, so I’m looking forward to lower ab definition (and maybe even, *gasp*, a 6-pack?).


5) Compression socks. I have two pairs of Zensah compression socks. I wear them after every run, sometimes I even sleep in them. I don’t run in them, but I see a lot of people that do.  I’d like to see some arguments for and against running in compression. I lean toward the side of against running in them, right now, because I feel with them on you can’t feel if your calves are trying to tell you something is wrong…


6) The amount of time I spent in the kitchen this weekend. I made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, cookies for a blogger cookie swap (that I totally neglected to promote while sign up was still open…), trail mix (recipe to follow), baked my brother’s birthday cake, made honey wheat bread in my parents poor, neglected bread machine…wow, that’s a lot. I love my parent’s kitchen, it makes me happy, you’ll be seeing a lot more new recipes from me in the near future (meals, snacks, cupcakes, you name it…).


7) A BONUS ONE FOR TODAY! I’m feeling super organized – I know how busy I am this week so I have 4 posts already pre-written and scheduled, so my busy life won’t leave you, my faithful readers, feeling neglected!


I hope you all had a fantastic Monday!!!! 

Listening and Leftovers

28 Nov

Happy Sunday! Did this weekend fly by or what? 


Today I truly learned the meaning of listening to your body. I’ve been trying for some time to understand this, but today I had a moment of clarity. Coachy often tells me to run by feel – run by what your legs want to do. This morning I woke up with the intention of running speed intervals (5k number two is next Sunday), and ended up with this instead:

Not even a mile into today’s run I knew I wouldn’t be running intervals, so I immediately told myself “Run comfortable, get the miles in, and be careful.” Normally I’d be pissed that I couldn’t run my intended run – but today, I took it in stride, and just went with it. And I am not upset with it, I’m happy I got the miles in. Plus, it was really freakin hilly. 

Listening to my body example #2: Earlier in the week I accepted a challenge that a bunch of Twitter peeps are doing that involves doing at least 100 pushups a day. This is great for me, because I need the upper body work, and I’ve been put on lifting limitations due to my accident injured shoulder (no overhead lifting or pulling). Friday and Saturday I did 200 total pushups (mostly girly, some real), today I did 25. My shoulders are sore, but more so my left shoulder is hurting again, so I stopped. I’ll start again when the shoulder feels good enough again.


I’m now fully accepting of the “listen to your body” mindset – important if I want to stay healthy and injury free!


Are you good at listening to your body? What do you do?


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And now for the good stuff… using up those Thanksgiving leftovers! Friday night my brother created this gorgeous Turkey Pot Pie for me, him, and our mother, and he allowed me to take his recipe and share it with everyone! I hope you enjoy this!



Brother’s Turkey Pot Pie


Ingredients:


2 pie crusts
One fully cooked turkey breast, chopped
1 tbsp parsley
2 quarts turkey/chicken/veggie stock (your choice)
4 large adult (<–brother's word) carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
Thyme, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper (to taste)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 stick butter
1 bag frozen peas


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine turkey, stock, and parsley. Bring to a boil and reduce by 2/3, creating a broth.
  3. Saute carrots, celery, and onions until approximately halfway tender. Add remaining seasonings.
  4. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside. 
  5. Melt the butter in the same pan you cooked the veggies in. Once melted, add the flour to create a roux. Cook until medium brown in color.
  6. Strain  broth and set turkey aside.
  7. Slowly whisk broth into the roux, creating a gravy.
  8. Once the gravy is smooth, mix in the cooked veggies, turkey, and frozen peas.
  9. Transfer pie filling to pie plate and cover with second pie crust.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is a light brown.


How are YOU using your Thanksgiving leftovers?


Active Rest Days

27 Nov

When people started signing up for the 30 for 60 Challenge, I noticed a common theme: I don’t know how I feel about not taking a rest day. 


I understand that, completely.  I used to be the same way. But now, I don’t feel good when I take a full blown rest day, unless I’m fully exhausted or feeling burnt out. So, I’ve implemented one active rest day per week into my routine, on Saturday. Plus, who doesn’t like it when the workout log has something logged in every. single. day. 


I’m going to share with you some of my favorite ideas for active rest days:

  • Go for a walk. Get outside, get some fresh air, enjoy some time with friends, family, or your pet! I went for a 3.3 mile walk with my mom today, since she’s trying to get back into a fitness routine. It was nice to have someone to talk to the whole time too!
  • Stretch. Throw on your favorite DVR’ed sitcom, and stretch your body during the entire 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but making a habit of this will help increase your flexibility and get you moving on your rest day. Favorite stretches for runners: Cool Running: Stay Loose: Stretches for Runners
  • Do some easy body weight strength training: planks, side planks, pushups, crunches, chair dips. You can easily fill up 30 minutes with some simple strength moves. I did a one minute plank, 100 pushups (only 20 “real” pushups, the rest “girly” or “modified” for those of you that like to be politically correct), and 100 crunches today, along with my walk.  Again, these strength moves are something you can do while watching TV (so no excuses really…). 
  • Go hiking. Where I live, the Audubon Society has some nice, easy, short hiking trails scattered throughout the state, that never get old. Plus, they’re small and safe enough to go alone if you don’t have anyone else to go with. I like to bring my camera, I almost always see something worthy of photographing. And again, you’re getting outside and getting sunshine and fresh air – who doesn’t love that?
  • Play Wii Sports or Wii Fit.  This is especially fun if you’re trying to keep your family active – get everyone involved! I love the ski jump, the soccer one (where you have to hit the balls with your head), and BOXING.  You can get a fun little cardio workout boxing for 30 minutes with Wii Fit – and perhaps the title of “Boxing Champion” in your house! 
So, there you have it. Some of my favorite ways to spend my Active Rest Days. If you haven’t signed up for the 30 for 60 Challenge for the “no rest day” reason, won’t you reconsider now?! You have until Wednesday to sign up!

Cupcakes and FitFluential (Opposites Attract)

23 Nov

I have a cupcake recipe for you! I’ve been way overdue for a while! Quite some time ago I made these Neapolitan Cupcakes from Courtney


Then one day I had a brainstorm, that took her recipe, and just tweaked it up a little. 


May I present to you:


Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes


Ingredients:


One box Pillsbury Golden Butter Cake Mix (prepared according to package directions)
1/2 cup Tart Cherry Preserves
Red Food Coloring
1 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate (melted and cooled)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Maraschino cherries


The how to:


Divide your batter evenly into two separate bowls. 


In one bowl stir in the cherry preserves and a few drops of the red food coloring until you get a dark pink/red hue to the batter.

These preserves are heavenly, in cupcakes, on toast, on a PBJ sammich…off the spoon



In the other bowl stir in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder.



Next, line your cupcake pans.  Add a spoonful of cherry batter to each cup. Then add a spoonful of chocolate batter on top of each spoonful of cherry batter. (or the other way around as you seen from my picture…)



Bake according to package directions (which I believe is 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean).


One cooled, I frosted these with the traditional Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting and garnished with a Maraschino Cherry. 

Aren’t they cute?!

Chocolate and cherry is one of my favorite combos, and these little guys are to. die. for. 


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Now, for something completely different. 



Are you interested in joining the FitFluential Family? We’re looking for network members AND ambassadors.


Apply to Become a Member.  More info on what the FitFluential Family is looking for in bloggers/influencers.


Ambassadors: If you want more information on becoming an ambassador you can e-mail me or e-mail Kelly Olexa. If you e-mail Kelly directly, please make sure you tell her that I sent you!!!! 


Fitfluential Membership and Fitfluential Ambassadorship is for MEN and WOMEN.  The group could use a few more good men (we’ve got some great ones already!). 


Let me have your attention for just a moment on this:

You WANT to be part of this group. Trust me.

This is a FANTASTIC group of people, from all walks of life. 

Don’t think that you “don’t belong” or “don’t fit the requirements”

Everyone in this group is AMAZING. They’re supportive, full of advice, funny, genuine, you name it.  I am honored to be a part of this group, and would love it if more of my friends/readers were part of it with me.

So, what do you say? Contact me or Kelly as soon as possible!!!!





Toughen Up Cupcake

22 Nov

I haven’t written much about my birthday, or turning 30, or any of that. I spent most of my birthday not doing much of anything, which was GREAT. I did go for a little run, and I did do some Ab-Ripper X, but other than that I spent most of the day chilling until I went out with a big group of my favorite people for some celebrating! 

The gang’s all here!
Friends since we were 14
Yes, she is wearing her MCM Jacket 😉
Me and Sara – always a great time when we’re together!
Obviously having fun…
Crazy fun… 😉

Then yesterday I did this:

Right? My thoughts exactly… They were mile repeats, so I did stop to catch my breath/heart beat/etc in between every mile. But this is my fastest 8-mile EVER. 


So anyway, what on earth does ANY of this have to do with the title of my post? It has EVERYTHING to do with it. You see, I have goals, hopes, dreams, ideas, thoughts, etc… Roughly 30 of them to be exact.


But I’m not going to tell you what they are. I know I know… Okay, I lied, I am going to tell you one of them.


BE TOUGHER ON MYSELF. Yes, be tougher on myself. I know, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy, I work hard already. I do work hard. But, I know I can do better. As you can see it started yesterday. Coachy told me to go out and run 6 one-mile intervals between 8-8:30 mm to prepare myself for my 5k on Turkey Day. I wanted to quit after 4, it was hard, my legs were sore, I was tired. But, I wasn’t about to let me or Coachy down. And I know it’s beneficial to other future goals. The way I felt after that run is the way you should feel after any hard run – speedwork, long runs, etc… starving and spent. And today – sore as hell.


So, the moral of this very blabby story is this:


I have to set goals and stick to them. 


I have to do what I say I am going to do. 


Talk is cheap. Action is everything. I can’t get faster or stronger without working harder (and oh boy are my legs feeling it).


It’s not just fitness, but personal too. Lots to do in this 30th year and I plan on doing it all and making it a great one. Expect to hear LOTS more on this as I accomplish these goals – because I’d rather brag that I did it, than say I’m going to do it then have to report back that I didn’t.


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P.S. Have you signed up for the 30 for 60 Challenge yet? We’ve got about 30 people involved already with 9 days left until it starts. This is going to be a FANTASTIC holiday challenge.  I’m so excited to kick it off! 


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