Running Tuesday

Are you running today? Head on over to SkinnyRunner’s blog to tell her all about it. Tuesday is the day to get your run on and shout it from the rooftops!

Yesterday morning I began working on one of my personal goals in the 33DC: taking the train to work everyday. Waking up early, having my coffee before I leave the house, and relaxing on the commute to work is the PERFECT way to start the day. I used to take the train a lot more, but I’ve been slacking lately. If I drive to work, I get to sleep in for an extra hour 🙂 Anyway, it makes for a much more relaxing day when you leave the driving to someone else!

In other news, Mizuno’s “Run with Us” promotion is here in Austin this week! Here’s an explanation from their website:

The “Run With Us” grassroots campaign is a mobile running tech lab designed to provide expert analysis and recommendation for runners of all skill levels. It features a grand scale technical van which houses two of Mizuno’s state-of-the-art “Precision Fit” terminals. There, consumers are provided an innovative and thorough biomechanical analysis of their foot type and running needs. The “Precision Fit” procedure determines which type of running shoe best suits the runner’s foot type, running style, and running goals. Runners are also given a chance to “test ride” Mizuno footwear that has been suggested for their biomechanics.

Pretty cool, right? Katie and I are going to head downtown early Saturday morning to check it out, and then enjoy a 5 mile run around Town Lake. Maybe we’ll get to do our run in a pair of Mizunos? Personally, I’m interested to see if they put me in the same model as the salesperson did this weekend. If not, those Wave Inspires might be going right back!

Happy Tuesday everyone – one day down, only four to go 🙂

Edit: Apparently everyone is discussing running shoes this week! Check out this guest post by Meg, a former Boston running store employee , over at the Healthy Tipping Point.

Sunday Thoughts

So, I haven’t been grocery shopping since the last trip I posted about – two weeks ago! We’re going to do a huge trip today – clearly the fridge needs it:

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I’m in the process of scouring the internet and a couple magazines for recipes for the week. Then I’ll create a grocery list, organized by department, to help us get in and out of the store as fast as possible. All the crazies come out on Sundays!

Today is also Weigh-In Sunday, and I have to admit – I’m not pleased. I gained a little over a pound. Again. I can’t say I’m surprised though. I haven’t been keeping on top of the foods I am eating, and I’ve hit the gym once in two weeks, plus the 10k. It really takes awhile to get back into a habit of working out once you’ve been on a hiatus.

I think the 33 Day Challenge is going to really help. No, I take that back. The challenge WILL help.

Now if only my right shin would stop giving me issues so I can get out for a run! My new shoes are begging to be taken out of the box!

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The Great Running Shoe Debacle

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Last fall when I first moved to Austin, I came to the realization I would need a new pair of sneakers. I had a couple pairs which I wore casually, but none I would be able to run regularly with.

After a bit of research and test runs in Academy, I decided on Asics Gel Nimbus 11. They fit like a dream, as if I was walking on soft, pillowy clouds. I used them for a few classes at the gym, and on the elliptical.

When I began training in May for my first half marathon, I slipped on the Asics and hit the road. A month went by, and I decided I needed a new pair. They weren’t worn out, but they just didn’t feel right. And hey, I’m a girl – I love buying a new pair of shoes 🙂

Enter Mizuno Wave Rider 13. I really liked how light they were and the way they looked, but after a few runs I noticed they weren’t quite supportive enough. I ended up wearing them to work instead (be jealous, I wear jeans & sneakers to work) and switching back to the Nimbus.

In the beginning of July, I was plagued by an intense case of shin splints. I was icing after every single run, stretching, and following a training plan that increased weekly mileage by no more than 10%. I took a few weeks off from training to allow my legs to recover.

I went to the Road Runner Sports website and answered a few questions from Shoe Dog to determine which pair was best for me. My feet are incredibly flat, so I pronate quit a bit when I run. At this point, I was using the Nike+ system and I was looking for a Nike shoe. From the results the website provided me, I chose Nike Structure Triax 13.

I am really not a huge fan of Nikes to begin with, but these really alleviated the problem. I was officially pain free. For about a month. This was just enough time for me to wear down the cushion on the arch of the shoe.

Next up? Asics GT-2150. The arch support in these shoes was the best out of all of the previous shoes, as it is a stability shoe. After an 8 miler and a 9 miler, the pain returned. Gah! It was at this point where I headed to Runtex to see if they could help. I was given a prescription for orthotics, and off to InStep I went.

The combination of the 2150 and orthotics was just what I needed! I ran the half marathon in them, and I had no shin pain whatsoever afterwards.

After my recent 10k, the outsides of my calves started hurting. This was a completely new issue, which I can blame the speedy downhill running I did for an hour. I think also it may have come from “over-correcting” my pronation problem.

Yesterday, I went back to Runtex on a mission to purchase a new pair of running shoes. A few pairs were recommended to me, and here’s the winner:

 

 

Mizuno Wave Inspire 6. I am keeping my fingers crossed this will be the LAST time I need to change running shoes. I am tired of having to take unplanned rest days because of shin pain, and most importantly? I’m tired of shelling out $100+ every couple months! Wish me luck!

What running shoes do you run in? Did it take you awhile to find the “perfect” pair?

HP, it’s time you & I had a talk

In the beginning of 2008, I purchased my first laptop. I know, I know – wayyyy behind on the times. I had a pretty reliable desktop and never thought of trading it in for something more portable. Once I made that investment though, I don’t know how I went without one for so long. I didn’t have to write papers at my desk anymore – I could do it in bed!

Anyway, said laptop (an HP) has begun to get a little finicky on me. It likes to overheat sometimes and shut itself off ( how awesome), and most recently, the sound no longer works. I thought I could live without it since I have the sound turned off most of the time anyway (not a fan of the little Windows ‘dings’), but the silence is starting to drive me N U T S.

I was looking for some new music on iTunes, but I had to guess if I thought I would like the song or not since I couldn’t listen to a preview. This makes creating a race playlist pretty difficult. More importantly, I would lose my Skype time with Carly! It’s one of the few things that keeps me sane, and I don’t think it’s wise to live without our internet meetups. Youtube videos, online TV episodes, etc. If it has sound, I’m missing out on it.

Now I am faced with the horrid task of purchasing a new laptop. Don’t get me wrong, a new toy is always exciting. However, financially it’s not such a blast watching your bank account take a hit. I’m not going to purchase another HP because it’s been just over two years with this one, and I’m not impressed with the lifespan. I really do love the HP, and I’m pleased with every other aspect of it – but I can’t take the chance buying another one. It’s an expensive risk. I refuse to even speak or type the dreaded ‘D’ word, but if you know PCs/laptops, you know who I am talking about. We do NOT get along. Sony & Mac are out of my price range, so I am going to go with a Toshiba. When I bought the last one, I was on the fence between an HP and a Toshiba (clearly I chose the wrong one).

I’ve narrowed it down to these three:

Toshiba Satellite L655-S5096 ($479.99)

Toshiba Satellite A505-S6005 ($599.99)

Toshiba Satellite L655-S5101 ($499.98)

I’m leaning towards the last one since it seems to be the most “bang for your buck” deal, but it’s also one of those “in-store special order only” deals. They have it at a Staples nearby, but will they still have it on Friday when I go to purchase it? Probably not. Alternatively, Best Buy allows you to Trade-In your old laptop for a giftcard to their store. If I could get a decent amount back from my current laptop, I could justify paying a little bit extra for option #2. If Staples sells out of the one I want, and Best Buy can’t offer me as much as I’m looking for, I will go with option #1.

My brain hurts. I hate doing research for big purchases.

What kind of laptop do YOU use? If you have a Toshiba, would you recommend it?

IBM Uptown Classic 10k Race Recap

Packet pickup was quick and painless. I headed over to Amplify Credit Union on Friday after work and received this:

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Dare I say the contents of the bag were better than what we got at the Wine & Dine 1/2? Yes, that is 100% correct. Swag bag contents aren’t incredibly important, but I was surprised that this small race gave its runners more than a Disney one. Especially if you think of it like this: $35 10k versus $135 1/2 marathon. A little weird.

I woke up at 5am this morning, and had a cup of coffee while I got ready. The road right near the start would be closing at 7 so I wanted to get there before then, even if it meant standing around until the 8am start.

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Once I had parked, I had a Lemon Zest Luna Bar, drank some water, and did a little bit of light stretching. After I pinned my race bib to my shirt, I made my way to the start.

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Thank god they had a bouncy house, they are my favorite 😉

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The race had either 2000 or 3000 runners; the announcer said both numbers but I’m not sure which was accurate. Either way, the average runner age was 39, which I thought was pretty interesting. It’s great that people stay active as they get older because some people just write it off as “Well, I’m old so I can’t run anymore or stay in shape”.

Here’s a few pics from the course:

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Oh why hello there LV…

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After running through the Domain, the rest of the course was pretty boring. We basically ran the perimeter of the IBM complex and on a few roads. Luckily my iPod playlist kicked ass and really powered me through the miles.

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In the home stretch!!

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I crossed the finish line at 1:13:20. I am ecstatic with my time, considering I haven’t put in a single mile since the half. I felt amazing as I ran through the finish chute and the announcer called out my name. Loved it 🙂

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I grabbed a chocolate Muscle Milk Light and I’ve got to say – it was pretty damn tasty. I heard someone complaining that it was chunky, but the people handing them out instructed you to shake it well before opening. Apparently he wasn’t in the mood to follow directions. Another plus: Muscle Milk = milk-free. That’s a win in my book!

The race directors were really on top of things – they already were posting runners’ times! I appreciated that, except my page wasn’t posted yet. I had a rough idea from my Garmin, so I figured I would just check the website later.

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After I finished stretching, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait in line for a massage. It was already kind of long, and I was in the mood to get the hell outta there.

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All in all, I really enjoyed the race. The course was decent, the weather was gorgeous, my iPod playlist kicked ass – I was in the zone 🙂

After I got home, it was time for a (of course) cocktail!

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Now I’m off to take care of some important business: FOOTBALL!

Happy Sunday!

Our voices were heard

I’m a fan of Run Disney’s page on Facebook, and a post today caught my eye:

 

 

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It’s nice to know the issues are being addressed. Honestly, I thought us runners voicing our concerns was going to go unnoticed.

I now feel even more comfortable saying we’ll be back for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in 2011 🙂

 

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For now, I’m still content looking at my personalized results page for 2010!

We’re halfway there

Wednesday is almost over, and I couldn’t be happier. This week has literally sucked the life at me. 50% of my meals this week have been on point, but the other half? Not so much. I wake up exhausted everyday, no matter what time I crawl in bed. I struggle to stay awake during the day, despite being insanely busy at work. I haven’t finished attempted one single workout this week, and I have to say I am pretty disappointed in myself. I am just in such a FUNK.

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I have a 10k on Sunday and I haven’t ran since the half marathon on the 2nd. Fresh legs are a good thing, of course, but I was hoping for a PR. I don’t think this goal is attainable since I haven’t hit the ground running in almost two weeks.

I’ve reassessed my goals, and I’ve decided I’m going to power through the rest of the week and start Saturday strong. I didn’t expect getting back on the horse fitness-wise was going to be easy, so I’m not going to stress over it.

In other news, remember the bruschetta I made earlier in the week? I found a new way to use it! I started with a pita pocket lined with romaine lettuce and thin-sliced turkey breast. Next, I added the bruschetta mix, caramelized onions, and crumbled garlic & herb goat cheese. The romaine/turkey combo kept the bruschetta from making the pocket soggy. It was DELICIOUS!

 

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After you finish stuffing the pitas, fold the turkey slices over the filling to keep it from falling out. Several people in the breakroom commented how great it looked and how jealous they were. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a go! I’m going to switch out the turkey tomorrow for chicken salad, I think that would be a tasty variation 🙂

Alright, only TWO more days to go until the weekend!!

Red, red wine

Saturday night I ordered a glass of wine with dinner, and I began to think about all of my favorite red wines. I remember back 6 years ago when I used to think Yellowtail Shiraz was the BEST wine. General rule of thumb: if you can buy it at the gas station, it is most likely not a phenomenal bottle. I have since fine-tuned my taste buds to appreciate a delicious glass of wine, and today I’d like to share my favorite reds 🙂

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The last one is a bit of a splurge, but if you are looking for a nice red to celebrate a special occasion – this bottle will NOT disappoint:

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Bruschetta

Have you ever stopped to think about what a homemade bruschetta could be used for besides a topping on crusty French bread? The possibilities are endless!

Skip the regular pizza sauce and use the bruschetta mix as the base for your pizza. Then finish it off with fresh mozzarella and a few sprigs of basil.

Pizza isn’t your cup of tea? Grill up chicken, zucchini, red peppers, and onions, and toss it together with the bruschetta and whole wheat linguine for an easy pasta.

Need a quick appetizer to bring to a friend’s dinner party? Whip up the bruschetta and serve it with pita chips. Here’s a quick and easy recipe to follow:

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2 pts grape tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic (adjust to your own garlic amount preference. I LOVE it)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

fresh cracked pepper

green onions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Halve the tomatoes and chop the garlic. Combine in a medium sized bowl.

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Next, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the cracked pepper. Toss to coat.

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Spread the mixture on a baking sheet in an even layer.

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Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to shrivel up like this:

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Smash the tomatoes down flat using a fork.

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Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the tomatoes from the baking sheet. This will allow most of the tomato juices to stay in the pan, thus keeping the bruschetta from becoming watery. Be sure to scoop up the garlic though!

Toss with chopped green onions, and put the in the fridge overnight to allow all of the flavors to combine and intensify.

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Enjoy!