Category Archives: Blends

Hangover Half 3.5 Mile Race Recap

Happy 2011!   My year is off to a great start 😀  After a hilarious hot yoga class last night (the room was done up like a disco and the instructors were a weee bit tipsy on champagne), I headed to SUNY Albany this morning to run the local running club’s 3.5 mile race.  In addition to the 3.5 miler, there was a hangover half marathon going on- a few of my blogging buddies ran the half (and did awesome!) and it was great to run into them before the race. 

To me, SUNY Albany’s campus has always been a bit imposing.  Maybe because the only other time I’d been there had been to take the LSAT (shudder).  Anyway, driving onto the campus I had no idea where I was going.  I saw a car that had a 26.2 marathon sticker on the back of it- I figured that driver was heading to the race so I just followed them.  The cars in front of them all had running stickers on them too!  Gotta love runners 🙂  If you are lost getting to a race, a good tip is to just follow the 13.1, 26.2 or tri stickered vehicles :p

I got to the race about a half hour before the start and it was BANANAS!  I wasn’t expecting it to be so crowded.  In the lobby I saw all of my fellow CDNY bloggers- I quickly registered then headed back to the gang to get in the obligatory group shots 🙂

Jen, Me, Melissa, Cynthia, Heather and Erica

I especially love Melissa in this photo.   Thanks for the photos, Jen!

You can’t really go wrong with the price of this race- a mere five dollars!  If you are a member of the local running club (I believe $15/year), the races are all free!   I think I’m definitely going to join. 

The girls and I headed to the start, marveling about the unseasonably warm temps.  It was around 45 degrees and I was wearing my running tights with my new coldgear top and I felt great.  No gloves, no ear warmers- I wore heavier clothing in Virginia Beach at the New Year’s race last year!  I’ll take the nice weather though 🙂

Heather snapped a pic before we started- without fail, I always have the same goofy expression before a race:

Jen, Melissa (looking down), me and Cynthia.  Cynthia, love the expression!  Too funny.

Before the race actually started, Jen and Melissa were talking about time goals.  Jen said she wanted to finish in under 33 minutes.  “YOU DO??”, I asked, thinking that it seemed fast.   Then again, Jen is super speedy.  I learned this after she smoked me in the squirrelly six mile trail race 😉   Originally I wanted to finish around 35 minutes- a nice ten minute mile pace.  I decided to just run as fast as I could. 

The race started and we were off!  At certain points the path was narrow but there was no bottlenecking.  It was a fairly hilly course, which I wasn’t expecting.  The hills were rolling and not too tricky, with some nice downhills here and there.  At certain points on the course we were running against traffic coming towards us a few lanes over, which was interesting.  I pretty much played this song on repeat during the race, interspersing it with “Run this Town” a few times.  I tend to find songs I like and play them to death until I can’t listen to them anymore.

Before I knew it there was less than a half mile left!  The half-marathoners continued on in the race and the  3.5 mile peeps made the turn to get in the final mileage.  As I approached the finishing chute the time clock read 32 minutes with change.  Sweet!  I kicked it into high gear (seriously- my fastest pace during the last half mile was a six minute mile pace- holy!) and crossed the finish line in 32:37, giving me an average pace of 9:15/mile.  YAY!   As the runners came in, a race volunteer gave us a numbered slip of paper to fill in.  I was the 113th person to finish the race.  I saw Melissa and Jen (they finished just under 31 minutes- speedy mc speedersons!) and headed inside to drop off our time slips and get some water.  For a five dollar race, I am INCREDIBLY impressed with all that was available after the race.  Water, soda, pizza, orange slices, vegetarian soup… I couldn’t believe it! 

I grabbed some water and an orange slice while Melissa and Jen went on to run 3.5 more miles (overachievers 😉 ).  Before the race I was thinking of joining them; after not so much.  I called Heather and Cynthia- they both ran an awesome race!  We grabbed starbucks (caramel brulee latte, I love you) to kill some time before meeting up with Melissa and Jen at Cafe Madison

Cafe Madison was outstanding!  It was my first time there and I will definitely be back.  The service was phenomenal and the food was delicious.  I had a Tuscan omelette but snagged some of Melissa’s strawberry almond stuffed french toast- heavenly!  We stayed and chatted for about two hours.  I love getting together with other bloggers- there is never a lack of things to talk about! 

All in all, it was a great start to the new year :D.  The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club put on a great event and it was nice to meet up with my blends to race and share delicious food. 

How was your New Year’s eve?  Did you participate in a race today?  It’s a great way to kick off the year 😀

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Filed under Blends, Race Recap, Running

December Goals

Hi friends!  Happy Wednesday to you 😀  How are y’all doing?  I started coming down with a cold earlier this week so I am currently loading up on tea, water and  lots of vitamin C!  I decided to take the week off of running in order to get better- it is flippin’ cold out and I don’t think that helps the cold much.  Originally I was going to take a break from hot yoga too but what can I say- I’m addicted to it and I’m feeling better 😉

Monday evening was blend-tastic 😀  I got together with some of my favorite local blends to enjoy some of the best pizza I’ve ever had at DeFazio’s in Troy.  If you are local, I highly recommend checking it out!  The staff was super friendly and the pizza was amazing!

Emily and Me.

Courtney and Jen.

 

I had a lot of fun girls!  I’m looking forward to another blend pizza date in the future 😀

Ah, onto my goals for December.  It’s a little late but I have been following them since the start of the month.

Goals:

Personal

  1. Spend quality time with friends.  ‘Tis the season and what better way to spend it than catching up with friends?  I am heading to Long Island this weekend to spend time with Nicole, one of my oldest and closest friends (and unofficial race photog, woohoo!).  Heather is hosting a fun cookie swap and one of my other besties, Kristin, will be in town for two weeks for Christmas break.  Yes!  It is going to be a fun month.
  2. Change my last name on my social security card and passport.  So simple yet I keep forgetting to do it.  Get ‘er done!
  3. Frame photos for office.  I’ve had a few photos waiting to be put in a frame to be hung on the walls of my office.  For about a year.  No more slacking!
  4. Organize my closet.  Ugh.  Melissa, you should come help.  😀

Fitness/Health-wise

  1. No meat- track food intake daily to record how meatless diet impacts how I feel.   Why I stopped eating meat this month is a story for another post.  In the meantime, I’ve made a committment to not eat meat and to track everything I eat and drink and record how I feel- tired, well-rested, etc.  So far it is going pretty well!

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2.  Maintain base mileage of 40 miles/month.  I’m not sure how this will pan out, seeing as how I am taking this week off.  It’s okay though 😀

3.  Attend three to four hot yoga classes per week, except when traveling.   I love how hot yoga makes me feel.  I am addicted for sure!

4.  Partake in Kacy’s 20 salads in December challenge.  Basically, I have to eat twenty salads this month.  I can totally do it and it is a fun way to incorporate more greens into my life.  So far I am on salad four, I think.  image

My lunch today was a huge salad beast- spring mix, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and cashews.  The star of the show in this salad was Annie’s Papaya Poppy Seed dressing!  So. Effing. Good!   If you see it, you should buy it! 

So, those are my goals.  Have you set any goals for this month?  Is it flippin’ freezing where you are too? 

Have a good one, peeps!

19 Comments

Filed under 20 salads, Blends, Emmalina Violet, Goals, Jen is Green, Sweet tooth Court

Boots, Blends, & Bailey

Hi friends!  Thank you for all of the kind words and congrats on my dad’s first 5k.  I know he loved all of the comments!  🙂 

How was your holiday weekend?  It is starting to look like Christmas in my house:image

Isn’t this little tree gorgeous?  My stepmom found it at a craft fair.  I love it!  When do you usually start decorating for the holidays?  I am a strict wait until at least Thanksgiving passes kind of girl.

It was nice to have a four day weekend.  I got some shopping done and found these beauties:   image

Forty percent off at Banana Republic.  Score!  I have been on the lookout for a pair of flat tan boots for who knows how long.  It figures that when I’m not looking for them they pop right up.  I love them so much that I’ve been wearing them everywhere, including around the house.  😉

I attended a few hot yoga sessions over the holiday weekend:

  • Hot Rockin’ Vinyasa, 80s style (Wednesday evening)- I wore the most ridiculous eighties outfit.  It was fun!
  • 26 plus (Friday morning)- Like tradition Bikram but even harder!
  • Silent Bikram (Sunday afternoon)- my most favorite class ever.

All of that yoga has left me feeling awesome!  With the exception of one week, I think I hit my November goal of attending at least four yoga classes per week. 

Yesterday was a busy and fun day!  I ran 3.25 cold, invigorating miles.  I am on the fence as to what my perfect running weather is.   I don’t like it too cold but running in the summer is NOT my favorite.  Yesterday’s temps of almost 40 degrees was pretty awesome!

After the run, I met up with Jen to have lunch at Professor Java’s and give her some TJs goodies.  It is always fun to catch up with her!  She is the sweetest girl ever- look what she gave me:

image

Freshly baked banana walnut bread in a cute little Christmas dish!  Thanks Jen 😀   After hanging with Jen I hit up yoga then got to see another one of my fave blends, who gifted me with delicious cookies.  Heather, I already had three of them 🙂  Thank you!

This morning I had to drop of my fave little guy to get his teeth cleaned (and a few pulled) at the vet 😦 image

He was shaking when I dropped him off.  I feel so bad!  I will be calling the vet soon to make sure he is okay.  Poor little!

Okay friends, I’m out- enjoy your cyber Monday!

24 Comments

Filed under Bailey, Blends, holidays, hot yoga, I'm random, Jen is Green, Running

Does Speed Make A Runner?

Hi friends!  How’s it going?  I appreciate all of your input on my last post regarding the after effects of my half-marathon.  I think Lily hit the nail on the head when she said that I was likely also very sore because during a race, you tend to go all out.  Very true.  My race pace was significantly faster than my long run pace (ie, almost a full minute faster, which is a lot in running-speak!) 

So, what have I been up to?  Well, aside from running, yoga and attending a conference in the most expensive city ever Boston, I went on a super fun trip with some other bloggers to two foodie meccas:  Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods! 

Thanks for the photo, Heather! 🙂  

It was a fun trip and I got a lot of essentials, including sea salt brownies (amaze) and peanut butter filled pretzels.  I FORGOT to pick up pumpkin cream cheese.  Boo.  TJ’s and Whole Foods is only 98 miles from downtown Albany, and I’m seriously considering making a monthly pilgrimage over there to stock up on goodies.  Who’s with me? 😉  For a recap of our trip, check out Courtney or Jen’s posts- you may get some ideas as to what to purchase at your next TJ’s trip!

I’ve been thinking  about running a lot lately, probably because I haven’t been putting in nearly as many miles as I was during training.  The only race I have coming up is a trail run this weekend with Jen (yippee!) and a Turkey Trot with my dad (go dad!!!).   Anyway, back in September Nicki was the first runner featured in my “Many Faces of Running Series.”  One of my fave bloggers and commenters left an interesting comment on Nicki’s post that really had me thinking.  Basically, she said that she although she ran, she wasn’t sure if she considered herself a runner because she wasn’t that fast.  Which then begs the question- does speed make a runner?

To me, the answer is quite easy: no, of course not.  In my opinion, if you are out there trudging along, be it at a 13:00/mile pace or an 8:00/mile pace, you are still running.  This ties into my last post a bit, being that you cannot compare yourself to other runners.  Heck, if we were to judge running based solely on speed, wouldn’t only Olympians and professional runners qualify as actual runners?  You are not less of a runner because you maintain an 11:00/mile pace.  You are not a “jogger” (gosh, what an annoying term) because you can’t maintain an 8:00/mile pace- you are still a runner.  You are a runner if you RUN. 

In responding to the comment, Nicki indicated that she had recently read the speed is a personal thing, similar to one’s height- just like your height is right for you, so is your speed.  I couldn’t agree more, Nicki!    What do you think?  Do you feel like less of a runner if you can’t maintain a certain speed?  Let me know what your thoughts are! 

See you soon with a fun race recap!

36 Comments

Filed under Blends, I'm random, Running

Meatless Monday, Blends & BCE

Hi friends!  I have to say I’m dragging today.  I stayed up WAY too late last night reading a Nicholas Sparks novel.  They are so predictable but still manage to suck me in every time!   Today is definitely an extra coffee kind of day 😉

Yesterday was super fun.  I met up with a bunch of local blends at one of my favorite cafes for breakfast.  It is so awesome to have met so many amazing people through blogging! 

Emily,  Rebecca, me, Julie, Heather, Cory, Alicia, Nicole (thanks for the photo Rebecca!)

After we parted ways I headed home to be productive take the pup and my nephew for a long walk.  Then it was time for the BCE, or BEST CLASS EVA!  Seriously.  Yesterday was my first experience with silent bikram yoga and it was AWESOME!  In a standard Bikram class the lights are on and the instructor talks the entire time, guiding you through the poses and the like.  Sometimes they remind me of an announcer at the horse races.  Anyway.  To take silent Bikram, you must have taken at least ten classes (which I have).  It coincided with my schedule so I figured I should check it out.  Amazing!  There were only ten people, the lights were dimmed and the instructor played awesome music.  We still did the traditional 26 postures times two, but instead of talking us through the entire thing the instructor just told us when to change positions. 

My stepmom took the class with me (she is a yoga rock star) and I remember looking over to her at various points during the class exclaiming (silently, haha) how awesome the class was.  It might sounds cheesy but the music really enhanced the poses.  It wasn’t traditional yoga music either- Black Eyed Peas, P!nk, IZ, Jay-Z and other random songs.  So relaxing.  That was a great way to end the weekend and start the week off on the right foot 😀

Since today is Meatless Monday, last night I made a dish to eat for lunch and dinner.  It was actually super easy to make and quite tasty!  The nutritional stats are pretty decent too: 477 calories, 21 g fat (5g saturated), 26 g protein, 13.1 g fiber and 56 g carbs.  Here’s the dish:

Whole Wheat Pasta with Edamame, Arugula and Herbs

Ingredients

  • 8 oz uncooked whole wheat penne (I used the whole box [14 oz] of multi grain pasta)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame (I used 3 cups)
  • 2 cups arugula (they didn’t have arugula at the grocery store so I used an herb mix)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I omitted)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T chopped basil (omitted)
  • 1 T chopped fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 ounces fresh parmigano-romano cheese, shaved
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (I added this, original recipe doesn’t call for it)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta and drain, set aside
  2. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add edamame and garlic to pan, cook through until edamame are thoroughly heated and butter is melted, stirring occasionally.  Combine with pasta.
  3. Add lemon juice, tomatoes, herb mix or arugula, fresh herbs and salt.  Mix everything together
  4. Cover Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!

image

I have to say, I had it for lunch today and it is pretty dang good.  image

I like the fact that there is a lot of color in the dish- I feel like I’m doing my part in eating a rainbow of veggies 🙂  Have you tried edamame?  I love it!  It is packed with protein and makes a fantastic snack or addition to a meal (I love to add it into mac ‘n cheese 🙂 )

Do you have any meatless recipes to share?  I’m always on the lookout!  How was the weekend? 

See ya lata!

19 Comments

Filed under Blends, hot yoga, Meatless Monday, Recipe

A Sweet Surprise and Easy Shrimp Quesadillas

Hello friends!  Thank you so SO much for all of your congratulations on my half-marathon 😀 😀 😀  My body feels (almost) 100% back to normal!  I can’t wait to hit up hot yoga tomorrow.  Again, thank you so much for your kind words.  Y’all are too sweet 🙂

Speaking of sweet, I came home to a nice surprise in the mail yesterday: image

A good luck card from Linzi!  How sweet is she?!?!  image

She is busy getting ready for her first marathon (!!!!) this weekend but took time out of her schedule to send me some encouragement.  Linzi, you are so sweet and amazing and one of these days we will step up from having a virtual glass of wine together to having an actual glass of wine together 😀  I love the sticker and I am going to put it in a shadow box that I put together.  Yay! Make sure to stop by Linzi’s blog to wish her well as she conquers 26.2 this weekend!!! 😀

During the month of October, my friend and race photog/cheerleader extraordinaire challenged her friends and family to a “30 recipes in 30 days” challenge, where all of the participants cook their little hearts out and share the recipes.  Naturally I jumped at the chance to participate, as it would force me to try new recipes and introduce me to the other recipes submitted by the participants.  When Nicole emailed the recipe for Easy Shrimp Quesadillas, I knew what my next cooking adventure would be.  I modified Nicole’s ingredients with what I had on hand and it was still delicious!  My brother and father said the quesadillas were delicious and I can attest to the fact that they reheat well, since I had them for lunch today. 

Easy Shrimp Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 4 eight inch tortillas (I used whole wheat)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/2 of a 7 oz carton of garlic hummus
  • 6 oz peeled, cooked and deveined shrimp
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a skillet and cook onion and garlic until translucent, set aside
  2. Assemble working station for four quesadillas by placing filling into four piles, like so:

image

Shrimp, peppers, garlic, onion and tomatoes

3. Then, coat one side of tortilla with cooking spray. Placing spray side down, cover tortilla in hummus and sprinkle feta cheese over one half.  Place filling on one side of tortilla:image

4.  Fold tortilla in half gently and place aside.  Repeat with second tortilla. 

5.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook two tortillas at a time:image

6.  Flip over after about three minutes or when browned.  In the 4-6 minutes it takes the tortillas to cook completely, assemble the other two quesadillas and place them on skillet to cook when the first two are done. 

7.  Eat and enjoy!!

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The thing that I love about this recipe is that you can do so many flavor combinations with it!  Try a different flavor of hummus, add in marinated artichoke hearts (like Nicole’s original recipe calls for) and so on. 

Do you have any fun new recipes I can try for the 30 recipe challenge?  If so, please post a link to your blog post in the comments 🙂  I’ll take appetizers, desserts, breakfast recipes… anything! 🙂

Have a great evening friends!

10 Comments

Filed under Blends, Recipe

Who Motivates You to Run?

Hi friends!  I don’t know about you but this week has flown by for me.  Having a staff retreat (with lots of volleyball, bocce and badminton) on Wednesday probably had something to do with it 😀  Speaking of volleyball, wow.  I played two casual games yesterday and my glutes are killing me.  So much so that I pushed back my long run from tonight to the weekend.  I don’t remember being this sore from volleyball in high school!  I thought I was in shape with all of the running and hot yoga :p Anyway

So, about this wardrobe challenge.  I cannot tell a lie.  Originally I started the challenge to work with what I have and avoid consumerism.  Well, I ordered something online from Banana Republic.  Technically it was a gift- my mom purchased it for me for my birthday- but I still feel like I cheated!  However, the purple cardigan and grey tank were too gorgeous (I am so loving purple right now) that I didn’t want to wait to the end of the challenge to purchase and then not have my size available.  What do you think?  It doesn’t count, right?  😉  On to the recent outfits:

Day 13:I spy a big puppy face in the left corner!  Hi Baya!  Isn’t she the sweetest?  This was a travel day (Sunday) so I kept it casual. 

  • Green tee- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2010)
  • Dark skinny jeans- Express (purchased Fall 2005 ish)
  • Reef flippies- Macys (unsure when I purchased them)

Day 14:

This may be one of my favorite outfits thus far.  In fact, I walked down to my favorite cafe on my lunch break to grab a sandwich and on my way back an older gentleman stopped to tell me that I “looked very nice today.”  How sweet.  Not bad for not showering that morning not having time to put on any makeup or fix my hair. 

  • Green tee- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2010)
  • Black cardigan- J Crew (purchased January 2009)
  • Black pants- Express (purchased Summer 2004)
  • Black belt- Banana Republic (not sure when I purchased it)
  • Nude pumps- Payless (purchased May 2009)
  • Necklace- Lia Sophia (purchased Summer 2010)

Day 15:

At this point I’m feeling a little over the challenge.  This day also marked the halfway point!  To be honest I’m really surprised that I haven’t slipped up yet.

  • Black and white patterned shirt- Banana Republic (purchased January 2008)
  • Berry cardigan- J Crew outlet (purchased January 2010)
  • Black pencil skirt- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2005)
  • Black pumps- Aldo (unsure of purchase date)

Day 16 (Staff Retreat Day):

Hooray for dressing casual. 

  • Black and white patterned shirt- Banana Republic (purchased January 2008)
  • Green wrap- street vendor in London (purchased March 2007)
  • Dark skinny jeans- Express (purchased 2005)
  • Reef flippies

I am very verrrry excited for the challenge to be over. 

Switching gears- I’ve had some great runs this week.  Today I ran 3.5 with my running buddy Melissa and she gave me some delicious cupcakes afterwards.  Love that!   On Tuesday I met up with local blend (blogger + friend) Jen for a nice three miler.  The miles flew by so quickly, with the exception of a gnat flying into my eye.  I thought it was stuck under my contact but Jen fished it out for me.  Thanks girl 😀

I love working up a good sweat!  Thanks Jen for the photo 🙂  Afterwards we met up with some other fabulous bloggers for a local meetup.  I am really excited to be meeting so many fantastic people in the healthy living blog community.  Have you ever attended a blogger meetup?  If so, what are your thoughts?

In her weekly report on the Distance Dreamers, Abbi posed a thought-provoking question- who motivates and inspires you to run? 

  • My initial thought, of course, is Brian.  He is very fit and athletic and although he doesn’t consider himself a runner, he totally is one (he just ran a 5k in Afghanistan at 3500 ft altitude in 21:30).  His passion for fitness is really inspiring and inspires me to be a healthier version of myself.
  • My friends inspire me to run as well.  Be it my friend Christina, who picked up running after watching me cross the finish line of  my first 5k, or Melissa, my running buddy who I look forward to running with each week, it is inspiring to see others pick up the sport after you (Christina) and to have someone that pushes you to run faster (Melissa- in a good way 🙂 ). 
  • I also find inspiration in my co-workers.  They always ask me about my running adventures, and we are actually hosting our first company 5k next month.  My office “wife” has picked up running and will be running her first 5k next month.  It is so exciting!
  • Of course, there is much inspiration to be had in reading about the running adventures of fellow bloggers.  Reading race reports and adventures in training makes me excited to embark on my own training and racing adventures. 

What about you?  If you are a runner, who inspires you to run?

I have a busy weekend coming up with wedding festivities (my stepsister is getting married + an eight miler) but I’ll be back after with a really fun giveaway!  Do you have any fun plans this weekend?  Enjoy your night!

35 Comments

Filed under Blends, Running, Wardrobe Challenge