Archive | January, 2012

Sparkly Soul Headband Review and Giveaway (A Vlog!)

31 Jan

The winner of this giveaway will receive one thin sparkly headband and one wide sparkly headband!

Here’s how to enter this giveaway (yes I know I called it a contest in the video – but it isn’t a contest, just a simple giveaway!). For each entry please leave a separate comment. And, if you do not complete the required entry, your other comments will not be counted in the giveaway.

  1. (Required Entry) Go to the Sparkly Soul Website and tell me which two colors you would choose if you win.
  2. (Optional Entry) Tweet about the giveaway! “I want to win an @sparklysoulinc headband from @runcupcake http://wp.me/p25oLf-tC!
  3. (Optional Entry) Tell me what you would do to put your Sparkly Soul headband to the ultimate non-slip guarantee test!

It’s that simple ladies (and gents if you want to win one for your gals).

This contest will be open until Sunday, February 5th, at 12 p.m. EST. I will pick a winner using the Random.org number generator Monday morning, because there is no better way to start the week than with some sparkle!

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If you don’t win, or are too impatient to wait until Monday, Sparkly Soul is offering a discount code from February 1 (THAT’S TOMORROW!) until March 1, 2012. Just enter “FitFluential” at checkout and receive 15% off your order!

*Sparkly Soul, Inc. provided me with two of their headbands to try, keep, and review. I was not compensated for this review otherwise. All opinions expressed here are my own.*

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Foodie Penpals–Round 5

31 Jan

My how time flies when you’re having fun. I can’t believe it’s already the 5th Edition of Foodie Penpals.

This month’s package of goodies came from Erin. You have to check out her blog, it’s beautiful. I love getting packages from readers/Twitter friends!

This month’s goodies:

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Mmmmm maple and brown sugar oatmeal!

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I love applesauce – it’s been a fave treat with mini-Triscuits lately

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I had no idea organic jelly beans even existed… so cool and delicious!

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I can’t wait to try these chips – I plan on making homemade hummus to go with them

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Fruit roll ups for grown up healthy people – with out the rolled up part and weird paper…

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Holy amazing candy bars – I ate 1/3 of this while writing this post. so. good.

This is a SERIOUSLY awesome bunch of goodies.  Thanks Erin!

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock – go visit Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for all the details on how Foodie PenPals works.

And you can also go pay a visit to Michele at Runn Princess Runn to see what I sent her!

I hope you guys join in the fun with us in February!

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18 Miles of Awesomeness

30 Jan

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I never imagined my long run would go as well as it did this past Saturday. Especially after a not so fun 16-miler last Sunday

I took most of this past week off, of everything, to fight off this nasty head cold like I mentioned on Thursday.  By Saturday my legs were itching to run.

The Plan (Per Coachy):

12 Miles at Marathon Pace + 1 minute (10:45)

6 Miles at Marathon Pace (9:45 – well, we were testing 9:45, he thinks 10 is too slow for me)

The outcome:

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This is THE FASTEST I have EVER run 18 miles. I not only surpassed my 18 mile training runs, but both of my marathons.

Here’s how it went down:

Marathon #3 Long Run #4 Laps

My legs were getting itchy to speed up at the halfway mark, so I allowed myself one quick mile, knowing I’d have 3 more “recovery” miles before the final speedy stretch.

During the last 6 miles I kept telling myself to slow down, stay closer to 9:45, my intended pace, so I wouldn’t burn out – but my legs just wanted to go. They needed  to go.  I did really push that last mile to make it my fastest – I love finishing strong.

You know how they say that during a marathon the race doesn’t really start until 20 miles? That is the point of running my long run like this.

Coachy wants me to learn to push through the pain, push through the mental anguish (which I did not have any of during this run – another reason it was so fantastic!). The goal is to train my body to defeat that wall, whether it be a mental wall or physical wall. By speeding up during the last 6 miles of my long run – I’m learning to tough out the pain, and I’m also making myself stronger. It’s also teaching my legs what race pace should feel like.

I needed this run. My confidence levels are sky high – I have no doubts that I will run a sub 4:30 marathon in New Orleans.

When was the last time you had a run/workout that you just *needed*? One that boosted your confidence and made you feel amazing?

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Totally Random Thursday

26 Jan

Wow it’s late already – I had a whole bunch of randomness on the mind today, so here goes:

First, I ran the 3 miles I owed Michele tonight. Which was the first time I’ve run since Sunday. I’ll get to that in a minute.

2012-01-26_18-03-51_196 Now I wonder, how did I ever live without a foam roller?  I was whining about my hip on Facebook the other day, and how I don’t own a foam roller – and next thing I know, my wicked awesome friend Don sent me one right away. How freakin’ cool is that? This thing hurts crazy bad until you’ve rolled over it a few times – and I’m in love with it.

Speaking of my hip – I never told you guys about long run on Sunday because I was too busy watching a very stressful Patriots game. I questioned my sanity on this run more than once – as I dodged puddles, snow piles, cars, you name it. It was a really kick ass run though – until about Mile 13, when I fell completely apart. I don’t know why I fell apart but it was the worst wall I have ever hit in my life. My hip did start to flare up a bit, but this was worse – full body sore, tired, hungry. I’d try to run, it would hurt. I’d walk, and stiffen up. I cried. I swore. My fingers started to go numb (it was COLD) so I’d run more.  I forced a very slow run through Mile 16 to finish, but that sucked worse than anything I’ve ever felt before.

Marathon 3 Long Run 3

However, I’m grateful to Mother Nature for this coming Saturday. 34-44 degrees for the duration of my run, and SUNNY. And, Mother Nature was kind enough to provide us with some unseasonably warm weather to melt away all of the snow from last weekends storm. 18 miles on tap for me Saturday!

Marathon hunger has settled in. I have officially hit the point in my training where I am always hungry, no matter what I do. I’m trying to do my best to control myself, but I can’t always help it. I ate two huge servings of spaghetti with broccoli for dinner plus 3/4 of a sandwich roll turned garlic bread. Good thing it’s Carb Thursday!

I went to the doctor Tuesday for this nagging cold. Lucky, it’s just a cold. Lucky, my doc is a marathoner and cleared me to run my 18 as long as I listen to my body. Woot! I asked his opinion on “juicing” – not as a diet or a cleanse, but as a supplement. He’s all for it – so I went to the grocery store and spent an absurd amount of money on produce. I’ll share some recipes and ideas with you tomorrow. Here’s a sneak peek:

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…what other randomness do I have to share with you tonight?

Ooooooh yeah….I remember. I am now the Official Distance Running Advisor for fellow FitFluential Blogger, Mike Schiemer! His blog is called  Frugal Fitness and is CHOCK FULL of workouts, recipes, articles, nutrition info, etc… Check out the affiliate’s page for more info! I am beyond excited to be working with Mike in this aspect, as well as with FitFluential. Do me a favor and check out his blog if you don’t/haven’t already. If you like to save money, this is the blog for you!

Phew, that was super random. There may be more, but it’s bedtime for this girl – another thing the doc told me, MAKE SURE I get enough, if not more than enough, sleep while marathon training, and especially now because I need to kick this cold.

Hope your Thursday was awesome!

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Are You Ready for Some Football?

25 Jan

Oh yeah baby – my beloved Patriots have yet again been led to the SuperBowl by their esteemed leader, Tom Brady.

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Okay so that’s a bit much considering he really played like sh!t on Sunday, but I digress…

As a New Englander, I LOATHE all things New York sports (Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, you name it…) – so when I was approached by one of my favorite new friends, Michele from NYC Running Mama about co-hosting a Superbowl Challenge – much like the one she and Pavement Runner hosted last week – I was ALL over it.

Side note: Michele, those three miles I owe you from the Giants/49ers game will be run tomorrow! I never back down from a bet.

Here’s is how this is going to go down (obviously copied almost verbatim from Michele’s blog post about the same thing…):

We are runners.  Distance runners.  So the loser will be running.

But this isn’t just limited to us – we’d love to have more runners join us in this friendly competition!!

Rules of this challenge (same rules as the previous challenge!):

If your team loses, you have to run the point differential in miles. Simple. For example, when the Giants beat the Patriots (for the 2nd time in 4 years) Patriots beat the Giants (because payback’s a bitch…yo…) 24-4, Michele and anyone else who is rooting for the Giants will have to run 20 miles. (Here’s where you hope you’re a Patriots fan).

Mile limit: In the occurrence that the Giants blow out the Patriots (not likely to happen), we’ve capped the miles to 20 — meaning the most either of us would run is 20 miles. This works for us because we have a solid base and can log the distance. If this mileage is too high for you based on your current training, feel free to cap it at 10 – or whatever distance you feel comfortable!

To be run by: Within a week of the game sounds fair, but outstanding circumstances are understood.

Prove it: Tweet out a photo of your garmin in shame… LOL.

You don’t need to challenge an individual, just make an agreement with yourself to run the difference after you pick a team. If you couldn’t care less about stupid football, but are forced to watch the game, at least you’ll have something to root for.

So tell us…

Are you participating in this running wager?  (to sign up, leave a comment below!)

Which team are you rooting for???

P.S. Michele is a bad bad person and posted a bad bad video of highlights from Superbowl 43 – I refuse to do that. (And of course I’m kidding about her being a bad bad person – she’s a sweetheart and awesome).

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Defining Self

23 Jan

If you had asked me a year ago if my life would have taken the turn it has taken I would’ve answered with a  resounding “ARE YOU CRAZY?”

I never imagined I’d be a blogger writing for anymore than my friends and family who are nice enough to just read it for me.

I never imagined I’d be involved with the most amazing group of men and women that exists – my FitFluential Family.

I never imagined I’d be sharing my story, day in and day out, with all of you.

I never imagined I’d be a 2x (soon to be 3x and 4x) marathoner.

I never imagined I’d change my entire career path so that I could help people find fitness like I found it.

Running is my #1 – I put everything I have into running.

Blood/Toenails

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Skin/Scars (I still haven’t figured out how to remember TO ACTUALLY USE the Body Glide…)

Sweat. Lots of sweat. Lots and LOTS of sweat.

Tears. Happy tears. Sad tears. “My legs don’t want to move and I have 3 more miles to go” tears.

I pour every ounce of my heart and soul into my training to get farther, faster, stronger, with every workout.

But it’s not just about the run. Without a fully fit lifestyle – I wouldn’t be able to reach the running goals.

That’s why I share with you my passion for yoga, strength training, healthy recipes. It’s why I tell you about my relationship with food.  It’s all part of living a fit and healthy lifestyle. 

I share my photos with you and crazy stories about my dog and family to prove that living this fit and healthy lifestyle is fun, fulfilling,  and it’s the fuel that keeps me going. 

It’s also why I’m training to become an NASM Certified Personal Trainer – I want to extend my passion for health and fitness to anyone I can possibly help.

Just ask my family – I am always doling out advice – whether they asked for it or not.

You may be asking yourself, why is she telling us all of this?

I am at a place right now that I finally feel like I can define myself – and every word I use to define myself will fuel my workouts, my food choices, my writing, and my personal relationships. And that makes me HAPPY.

I am a runner

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I am strong

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I am a baker/cook, forever looking for ways to healthify that recipe so that me, my friends, and my family can have the best of both worlds – nutritious AND delicious

2011-12-18_17-35-52_362  Choc Cherry Cupcakes 2Chicken N Pasta

I am a writer – sometimes serious, sometimes silly, always ME, always original

I am a daughter/sister/friend – always there to lend a hand, an ear, advice, or a shoulder

I am a little lot crazy

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I am free, happy, and ready to continue on this crazy journey we call life.

I hope you will all continue to follow along because there’s LOTS more where this came from.

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Snowy Day Run

21 Jan

I hit the road first thing this morning for a snowy day run. About an inch had fallen by 8:30 a.m. – the roads weren’t clean, but there were also hardly any cars out.

It was 19 degrees, the wind chill made it feel like 7. My gear for this run consisted of:

  • Under Armour Base Layer 1.0 – this is my absolute favorite base layer EVER.  They’re super lightweight, the outside is slippy so you can slide any top layer over them easily, and the inside is soft and fuzzy. And of course, they’re WARM!
  • Saucony Omni Tights – These are the only pair of running tights I own, and I will never buy any other kind. They’re comfortable, warm, and fit perfectly – they never slip or fall down.
  • Long sleeve tech tee from a race
  • Saucony Ethereal Jacket – more gear I love. This jacket is the perfect lightweight running jacket. I wear it practically year round – it protects perfectly from snow, rain, cold weather, and wind!
  • Balaclava, gloves, sunglasses, and Smart Wool socks to protect all my extremities
  • Yak Trax over my Kinvara’s

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I was 100% comfortable on this run and I really loved it – proof that if you’re dressed properly you can endure most any weather (you won’t catch me running in a tornado!).

I felt great, but about 2 miles in my shins started to feel funky (Yak Trax perhaps?) so I knew I should just head home. It was truly beautiful out though and I enjoyed every second of it.

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Yak trax footprint in the snow

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I’m glad I did this for so many reasons, but the #1 reason is:

There is always a way to fit in a workout. Do NOT let excuses get in your way of your success.

What do you do when the weather threatens to get in the way of your training?

What is YOUR No Excuses Mantra?

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