Archive | April, 2012

Monday Love: Race Week Edition

30 Apr

Hey hey everyone! Can you believe it – Cox Rhode Races half marathon is a short 5 days away! It’s going to be here before we know it!

With that being said, what better time than to offer up a “Race Week Edition” of my favorite way to beat a case of the Mondays? So, what am I loving this race week?

1) Completing a training schedule: strong, proud, and happy.

Happy Training Plan

2) Completing the final run of the training plan at a pace that will allow me a PR on Sunday. *Disclaimer* I am not trying to PR on Sunday. I am going to run with my friends and have fun. I am going to listen to my body so as to not reinjure my leg. If I get a PR out of the deal, that would be fantastic, but I’m not getting my hopes up.  (Side note: This exact race, last year, still holds my PR. So I may be thinking about it just a little bit.) I ran the first half of this run with Jess at a comfortable pace. Since she’s still healing she could only run 4, so I was left to my own devices for the second half. After convincing myself to finish the run (and not get in my car and drive home) I decided to throw in some speedy miles. It was hard, but surprisingly not too hard. I negative split the second half of this run by almost 5 minutes!

Final Cox Long Run

3) My dog. No matter what kind of day I had, she always cheers me up. I love having a dog – they truly are (wo)man’s best friend. (Super strange side not: When I typed the wo in parentheses Live Writer turned it into a suitcase? Strange.) Tonight was especially hilarious – she was so nutso when I got home. Running around with the most disgusting looking tennis ball I’ve ever seen, jumping, playing fetch with herself basically, while my parents dog just watched her from the deck.  sometimes I swear he thinks he’s babysitting her. And now, well, see for yourself:

Sleepy Lexi

She seems to be getting better since I wrote the other day that she was having some behavioral issues. She had basically thrown herself out of my bed a couple of weeks ago, but I put her blanky back up on my bed and brought her back in, and she’s happy. She’s a big time cuddlepuppy. When she can cuddle, she’s happy.

4) Quick, but effective, workouts. I’m pressed for time this week while getting ready to enjoy my mini stay-cation. I’ve got posts to set up (so I don’t leave you guys hanging while I’m unplugged – I’ve got some great guest posters lined up starting Friday!), I’ve got grown up crap to do (like make sure my bills are all paid, laundry, etc.), a hair cut on Thursday, you get the picture. Wicked busy, as always. So in order to save myself some time I decided I’d skip the gym this week; however, I’m not skipping working out. I created a great, fast, full body circuit that you can do at home when you’re pressed for time. All you need is a stability ball and a set of hand weights. I used 5 pounders – I don’t want to be too sore or worn out come race day! I did 3 total sets in 25 minutes (except I only managed 25 total push ups – those babies are HARD!) Stability Ball Circuit

Exercise Descriptions (Be sure the ball is supporting your upper back, neck, and head for all exercises that you’re laying on the ball. Raise your hips into a bridge position so your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees):

Bench Press – traditional bench press, only laying on the ball.

Supine Tricep extension

Hammer Curl – Sitting on the ball. Engage your core, make sure your feet are on the floor and your legs form a 90 degree angle.

Push-up: Make sure the ball is directly under your shins. Engage your core, don’t round or arch your back.

Wall Squats

Ball “Roll-Ins” – Assume push up position on the ball. Bring your knees to your chest (rolling the ball in) and move back out to push up position. That’s one rep.

5) Another giveaway. What’s that you say? Oh yes, I told you guys I’d have a giveaway a day this week, right? Well it’s a freakin party around here! Today’s giveaway is brought to you by the wonderful people over at Perky Jerky. Have you had this stuff yet? I’ve tried both, I prefer the turkey, and OMG, it is the most tender pre-packaged jerky I have ever eaten in my life. I buy it all the time to snack on, and today, the folks at Perky Jerky are being kind enough to give away 5 bags each of the beef and the turkey!


They’re not kidding. Since I possess this bag of yumminess, and it’s taken every ounce of power in me to not devour all of the turkey jerky myself, this is going to be a 24-hour flash giveaway! This giveaway will end TOMORROW at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


1) Follow Running and Cupcakes (look to your right – where it says “Follow Me”) (Required)

2) Tell me if you won which flavor you’d prefer – Beef or Turkey (Required)

3) Tweet about the giveaway. However you’d like! Just make sure you copy me (@runcupcake) and Perky Jerky (@perkyjerky), and link back to this post:

Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian Residents.

This giveaway will have TWO winners.

Giveaway ends at 9:30 eastern standard time Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

Good luck! I hope everyone had an amazing Monday!



An Open Letter: To YOU

29 Apr

Dear Running and Cupcakes Readers:

On April 29, 2011, when I wrote my very first blog post I never dreamed I would be where I am today. You see, when I started writing this blog, it was just my little way of keeping myself accountable on the journey to my first marathon.

I had a lot going on in my life leading up to the days prior to the start of this blog, and I needed something fun and light hearted to keep my mind at ease. So, I ran. Then I wrote about running. And it was fun.

As the days went on, I wrote about food. I wrote about races. I wrote about my new dog (who is now my dog of almost one year). I wrote about Coachy, and I wrote about my family.

And through it all – there was you. You the readers.

You were there to support me when I had a bad run.

You were there to cheer me on when I had a great run.

Bad day, bad run, good day, good run – it didn’t matter. Day in and day out, you guys tune in to whatever it is I have to say.

You give me advice. Sometimes you just listen. Whatever words spill from my fingers onto this page, you read, and you respond.

And I want to thank you.

Thank you for helping me through this past year. You see – I was doubted. I was told “You can’t run.” “You have bad knees.” “You have asthma.”

Well guess what? I’ve done it all. I’ve run from 5k to marathon.

I’ve broken through boundaries I never dreamed of.

All because of you. Your support, your love, knowing that you’re all here for me no matter what.

So, on this day, one year from the day I decided that sharing my life with a bunch of strangers was a good idea, thank you.

THANK YOU. So many of you have become friends – some still just internet friends (but that WILL change), many of you now in real life friends.

Some of you, very close friends that I now cannot imagine my life without.

And none of this would have happened without the support of all of you that tune in here, to Running and Cupcakes, to see what I’m up to every day.

I’m honored.

I’m humbled.

I’m about to cry – this really means so much to me.

I’m living my dream. And it’s all thanks to you.

I love you guys. As long as you want to continue to read, I will continue to write.




P.S. This song came on Pandora while I was writing. It’s fitting. I hope you all had a great Sunday!


A Sweat to Street Sunday Blog-iversary Giveaway

29 Apr
Welcome to Sweat to Street Sunday’s!

Each week my fabulously fit co-hosts and I will link up with one everyday outfit AND one fitness outfit that we love!

"Fashion" "Fitness" "FitFluential" "Fashion Link Up" "Fitness Clothing"

Meet Your Hosts!
Family and Life in Las Vegas (Emily)
Wild Things RUN Free (Charlotte)
Running and Cupcakes (Samantha)
MCM Mama (Erika)
Boobs, Barbells, and Broccoli (Tenecia)


Sweat to Street has been created as a place to link up your favorite outfits of the week as a new Sunday blog feature. The idea is to have some fun and change it up! Each week we encourage you to post one workout outfit and one outfit you wore that isn’t fitness related.

Every week we spotlight one awesome blogger who links up with us in the previous week! Our way of thanking you for sharing your fabulous/fun/fitness style!

This week’s featured blogger: Toni from Running, Loving, Living

Link-up Suggestions:

Remember if you don’t link up, we can’t choose you to be next week’s featured blogger!

We are so excited to see all the fashions that are shared each week!

On Wednesday of this week I went with a pretty preppy/professional look for work:

Street 1Street Outfit CompleteStreet Shoes 2Street Shoes

Skirt & Blouse – H&M

Tank Top – Aeropostale

Cardigan – Eddie Bauer

Shoes – Apt. 9 by Kohl’s

My sweat outfit this week is very exciting because I FINALLY have a REAL yoga outfit. I’ve been wearing running clothes to yoga, since I didn’t have a real yoga outfit. Now, some true yogi’s might not consider this a real yoga outfit either because it came from Victoria’s Secret – but they designated it as yoga, so I am too.

Yoga Clothes

Photobomb courtesy of Lexi.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for – Day 1 of Blog-iversary week giveaways! Today’s giveaway is brought to you by:

Sparkly Soul Banner

One winner will receive her (or his – you can always get for that special lady in your life!) choice of one thin (3/8”) and one wide (5/8”) Sparkly Soul Headband. (Headbands are being provided to the winner at no cost to me by Sparkly Soul, Inc.)

Sparkly Soul Headbands

I did a review earlier this year on these headbands and I cannot say enough good about the headbands themselves and the Sparkly Soul crew!


Here’s how to enter. Please leave one comment per entry!

1) Follow Running and Cupcakes (look to your right – where it says “Follow Me”) (Required)

2) Go to the Sparkly Soul Website and tell me what colors you would choose if you win. (Required)

3) Follow me on Twitter:!/runcupcake (Optional)

4) Follow Sparkly Soul on Twitter:!/SPARKLYSOULINC  (Optional)

5) Like “Running and Cupcakes” on Facebook: (Optional)

6) Like Sparkly Soul on Facebook: (Optional)

7) Tweet: “I just entered to win 2 @SparklySoulInc non-slip headbands for @runcupcake’s one year blogiversary. You should too!” (Optional)

There you have it. SEVEN chances to win two of these fantastic headbands! Don’t forget to leave one comment per entry!

Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian Residents.

Giveaway ends at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, May 3rd.

Winner will be chosen via on Thursday, May 3rd.

Don’t forget to link up on this week’s Sweat to Street Link up as well!

Five for Friday: Run-dition

27 Apr

Happy Friday! I’m blogging at 10 at night…why you ask? Because I love you guys, and because my nails and toenails are drying. I’m going out with a girlfriend tomorrow night and I have a bridal shower to attend on Sunday, so I just had to look beauteous! Winking smile

This Five for Friday is brought to you by (of all things, haha) RUNNING!

1) Running on tired legs is rough. As this beautiful friend of mine brought up in her post today, running on tired legs takes a run from YAY to MEH in a heartbeat. I experienced that feeling this morning as I dragged myself through 4 miles of legs that didn’t want to move.

2) I am a minute faster. Because I’m overly obsessed with numbers (I was going to be an accountant at one point in my life) I compared todays run with the same day last year. I found that last year I ran 5 miles at a 10:36 pace. Today I ran 4 miles at a 9:45 pace. Woot woot! Both of them “recovery” type runs while training for the Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon.

3) Upper body & core strength make for a good run. Even though my legs didn’t want to go this morning, the rest of my body felt very strong. With two weekly upper body/ab sessions and one weekly yoga session, I can feel the difference in every single run. It’s been key in rebuilding my endurance. Plus I always feel so refreshed, centered, and balanced after yoga.

4) A 4:30 a.m. alarm on Friday morning is dreadful. But once I got my butt up and out the door to run those 4 miles, it was amazing. I clicked my Garmin on at 5:07 this morning. Nothing but me, the wind in the trees, and the birds chirping. The occasional car – but I’d say I saw no more than 6 total cars. And there’s something to be said about having your workout done before 6 a.m. (And I do run alone – with mace and a cell phone – you can never be too safe).

5)  8 Days til Cox Rhode Races. I once again meet the Cox Rhode Races half marathon course. This race is my PR race – I haven’t been able to PR the half marathon distance in a year. I actually have myself convinced that half marathons hate me. From the awful rain at Rock N Roll Providence last year, to my hip giving out at the Amica Half in Newport, to severe stomach problems at the Half at the Hamptons – me and 13.1 aren’t friends. Next Sunday, while I run next to Jess, Scott, Christine, and possibly Amy, I am going to stare down that 13.1 and own it. Even if I don’t PR – It WILL be an amazing race. I just know it.

I hope everyone had an awesome Friday! I’m off to bed. I plan on spending all of tomorrow (until my girls night out of course) studying my head off! And enjoying every second of this weeks rest day!

Goodnight! XOXO


Food, Food, and More Food

26 Apr

I’ll admit, when I set off on this “cleaner eating” mission a couple of weeks ago, I was skeptical. I mean, I really thought I ate right. These past couple of weeks have been eye opening – and now, more than ever, I crave the foods I need, rather than the foods I think I want. Here’s a sneak peak into what’s been going into my belly the past two weeks:

Honest AdeHonest Ade 2



Honest Ade – 100 calories per bottle, 100% organic, 100 % freakin delicious.




Homemade Greek salad!Homemade Greek Salad

Balsamic chicken with lemony green beans & mushrooms (Recipe compliments of Clean Eating Magazine)Green BeansChicken & Green Beans

Who doesn’t love fruit salad?Fruit Salad

Larabars are by far my favorite go to “convenience snack”LarabarOrange

Who says Z Bars are just for kids? No high fructose corn syrup? Count me in! And it’s chocolate!Z Bar

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Lemon in Salad

Quinoa SaladApples, Almonds, and Nuun – a perfect afternoon snack!Apples & Almonds

Obviously this is all a fraction of what I’ve eaten in two weeks. I’ve also eaten a lot of oatmeal, which I’ve been CRAVING lately (Thanks Jess, Thanks Jo – I swear this is your fault).

Water, lemon water, and coconut water are my best friends, as well as Nuun. You can’t go wrong with Nuun – I hydrate during and after every workout with it.

And I did eat demolish Chinese food on Monday. Cravings. What can I say?

Oh, and wine. Less than usual, but I’m certainly not going without (I did have two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc last night – I was stressed, and had a headache).

The point of this is – I am seeing and feeling a difference. I’m glad to have finally taken the 99.9% plunge into clean eating/intuitive eating. It sure does make a difference!


Deep Thoughts

25 Apr

My brain is a swirling mess lately. I need to get it all out, hope you guys don’t mind!

I need a new job. Not just because of what I wrote in this post, but because I am truly not happy. And it’s not the job. And it’s not the company. It’s the fact that it’s “just a job,” it’s “just to pay the bills,” it’s “just for the health insurance.” It is not my passion. It is not what I want to do with the rest of my life. Running, fitness, healthy food, blogging, social media…that’s what I want to do. Mish-mash it all together to make a difference in the lives of others. But if not that, for now, at least something further north. More and more each day I want to be closer to three girls who make more of a difference in my life every day than they know. And they know who they are.

About my NASM Certification – I have until May 26th to take my NASM Certified Personal Trainer exam. That’s a month from tomorrow. I’m in Chapter 13 out of 18. I have a LOT of work to do in the next month and it’s really freaking me out.

I did not make the right decision on timing for the purchase of these exam materials. You have six months to study and complete the exam – I bought the materials at the end of November. Between the holidays and training for the Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon, my studies were tossed aside. Now with only a month to go, I’m cramming and it’s driving me crazy. But it’s my passion – I want to be a certified personal trainer. I want to start this next chapter of my life. I want  to make a difference in the health and wellness of others. I want to be that girl that others go to when they need help – with a workout, with an exercise, just for advice or input.

I have no idea how I’m going to handle life when I live on my own again. I don’t know how I did it before. Right now all I have to take care of is myself, my mother does everything else. I pitch in with some cleaning and some cooking, but not much, and yet I still don’t have time? I’m actually a little nervous about moving back out on my own because I don’t know how I got it all done before. And when that time comes, I’ll be in the middle of my Chicago training plan. Yikes.  Once PT is over I’m going to try moving all of my workouts to the morning. I’m up at 5:30 every day no matter what, so I may as well use that time to workout, and use my evenings to get stuff done.

I think I’ve been neglecting my dog. She’s always been a little weird – skittish, barks at random stuff, afraid of large people. I chalked that up to her being a shelter dog. But lately she’s been acting out, not just weird. She bit my cousin’s husband on the leg (luckily she didn’t break the skin). She shredded a package dropped on the front step by the FedEx guy. She tried to eat Zach’s food (my parent’s dog), instead of her own. She has NEVER done that. She started nipping at the heels of one of my stepdad’s friends last night, as I was reprimanding her. I think that I’m neglecting my fur baby, and if I am, how do I fit her in too? Perhaps even a short walk in the morning will do the trick? Poor little baby, I love her so much.


The truth is, I set myself up for these situations. I overthink, overplan, and overanalyze, and when the time comes to take action, I change my mind a thousand times. Or I procrastinate, which is a wicked bad habit I’d like to drop (tips are welcome, please and thank you). Then I scramble and stress to get things done, or make a decision, whatever the case may be.

Sigh, I think I need a vacation.  Next weekend – 4 glorious days off. Coachy is coming to town and I’m going to tourist him around the state, then it’s race day! Friends and family time – time to be with the people that mean the most in my life. On Monday, I chill. Relax and recuperate from what will definitely be a fun but surely exhausting weekend (there are 13.1 miles involved after all).

This little “stay-cation” could not have come at a better time.

Thanks for listening friends.




Product Review: Zensah Women’s High Compression Shorts

24 Apr

A while back Zensah was kind enough to send me a pair of their Women’s High Compression Shorts to review.

I’ve been wanting a pair for a while, but at $63.99 a pair, the price tag scared me away. So naturally I jumped at the idea of being provided a pair to write a fair and honest review.

From the Zensah website:

Zensah has developed compression shorts with a high level of compression. The compression shorts feature our innovative seamless and compression technology. Run, bike, and recover faster with the best compression shorts available. The compression shorts provide support to the upper leg, allowing for unrestricted mobility in the lower leg. They also aid in increasing oxygen and blood flow, keep your legs warm and loose while running, cycling, or during any tough training such as CrossFit.

My thoughts:

The feel –  These shorts are TIGHT, but I don’t feel restricted in them. They’re soft and stretchy and feel nice when they’re on. I do find myself fidgeting with the waist band a lot, but I think that’s more me and not liking things right at my waist.

The fit – I received a Small/Medium which says they fit women sizes 4-8. I wear between a 4 and a 6 depending on where the pants/shorts are from, but I think if I wore an 8 I’d feel a bit restricted. Honestly, if you wear a size 8 pants, you’re probably better off going up to the large. They do stretch, but like I said, they’re tight. The shorts themselves go down to just a couple of inches above my knee, so your hips, butt, and thighs are all wrapped up nicely in compression.

The technology – These shorts work wonders. I wore them after every single long run while I was training for Rock N Roll New Orleans, and my hips/butt/thighs always felt great the next day. I now wear them after every long run and after every speed workout. I sometimes even wear them to bed!

The quality –  I have washed and dried (on the delicate cycle of course) these shorts after every single time I’ve worn them and they still look brand new. They haven’t lose their shape or any of the “compression quality”, and they don’t have any pulls or pills on them from being washed and dried.

Overall – If you’re in the market for compression shorts, Zensah has the product for you. I thought the price tag was kind of steep – but I did some research and realized that most compression shorts are about the same. I’m a big fan of Zensah, I have two pairs of compression socks and two pairs of compression calf sleeves as well, so I say if you’re going to spend the money, go with Zensah.

Had I known how my long run recovery would go with these shorts, I would’ve spent the money a long time ago.

I hope this review helps next time you find yourself in the market for a pair of compression shorts! (They come in men’s too!)


Disclaimer: Zensah provided me with a pair of women’s high compression shorts in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.

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