Tag Archives: Fitfluential

A Jump-Start To My Week

Happpppppy Monday, friends.  Gosh it was hard to get out of bed this morning.  After getting back from Chicago around 8:30 last night, I crashed into bed almost immediately.  Even with such an early bedtime, that 5AM alarm clock still felt rough.  Not to mention I had a feeling it was going to be humid.  Saturday’s run in Chicago left me feeling over the heat and humidity.  This morning, I figured, I’d give outside running one shot, but after looking up the forecast, the only words racing through my head were “NO.”

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See that dew point?  According to the Runner’s World chart for training in the heat, (made familiar to me by Mary over at Minutes Per Mile), I knew that there was absolutely no way I was going to run outside.  The minute I walked out my front door, my glasses fogged up–not a great sign.

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Today’s dew point was 76 F.  That, according to this chart, meant “extremely oppressive-skip it or dramatically alter goal.”  Now, I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t going to let the dew point or some minor exhaustion impact my ability to jump-start my week.  So, I came up with a plan B:  the gym.  I grabbed my gym bag, drove over, and hopped on the treadmill as quick as I could.  By 5:50AM, I had run 4 miles, my glasses didn’t steam up, and I was actually able to do it at a comfortable, yet fast pace, opposed to feeling like death and swimming in sweat.

The treadmill is NOT my favorite.  I much prefer views like I got to see Saturday in Chicago.  I don’t like to wear headphones while I run, and the scenery outside helps distract me.

img_0692-1 The views inside the gym are not that exciting.  However, instead of moping around the gym with a poor mental attitude, I loaded up an episode of House of Cards on Netflix (low-key obsessed) and powered through 35 minutes of running inside in the AC.

Getting a run in on Monday morning first thing helps me get in a positive frame of mind for the week.  It helps me get off on the right foot, with a good start and healthy attitude.  Not every plan is perfect, and sometimes, you have to be willing to understand the human body’s limits.  I know my body does not handle the heat well, so I altered my plan.  When the dew point is oppressively high, it’s better to run inside, or not run it all.  This morning, I’m glad I ran inside 🙂

What is the hottest run you’ve ever been on?  What is your best tip for making treadmill running fun?

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Lakeshore 8 Miler

Popping in on a Saturday to share some photos from this morning’s 8 miler.  I’m in Chicago this weekend for the Coldplay concert and obviously had to get in my long run, so Lakeshore Drive it was!  It was oppressively hot, sticky and humid out but glad my friend Mary and I were up and at it. 

  
    
  
Found a triathlon!

    Halfway point at Navy Pier!

   
   
And when you’re the donut dietitian, post run donuts are a must.  Amazing.  We tried a variety–Orange poppy seed old fashion (not pictured) was my fav 🙂 #DonutsEarned

 Whenever I’m traveling, even if it’s too a familiar place, I love exploring with a good run.  What is your favorite way to explore?

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Catching Up

You guys.  What a whirlwind of a past week or so.  I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted.  Instead of diving right in to some topics / recaps I have planned for you all, I thought that 2 weeks is a long time to be away.  So, let’s ease back in slowly and start by catching up.  Shall we?

  
July 4th weekend was crazy fun and crazy relaxing.  It was one of those weekends where I got off the couch a few times, but mostly just relaxed a lot.  The weekend started by catching up with a good friend at the brand new Nine Giant Brewery (good beer and great food).  We shared the spicy peppers and the fried pickles.  So good.  Other exciting eats from July 4th weekend include an old favorite, the Silverton Donut Shop!  It had been ages since I’d been, and I enjoyed every bite.  Not pictured:  the TO DIE FOR apple fritter I wolfed down in the car.  It was that good.  Tried a bite of the other donuts before going into a sugar coma and calling it quits.  Gosh do I love donuts.

 
July 4th I whipped up this super simple and tasty frittata (similar to this recipe), by cleaning out the veggie drawer in my fridge.  Cooked up broccoli, sweet potatoes and bacon in a pan and mixed in the eggs + cheddar and baked until finished.  Easy as pie!  Took the frittata over to my parents house and they had some patriotic berries waiting to serve on the side.  Perfect, light summer meal.  Non traditional for the 4th?  Sure.  But it certainly hit the spot.   

   
July 4th also involved running the Rocket Man 15K in Loveland, Ohio.  To be completely honest, I went into this one to just have extra motivation to run the 9.3 miles.  I wasn’t pushing it at PR pace and I certainly had no goal finish time in mind.  Plus, it was pouring rain (giving me major flashbacks to the Derby Festival Marathon) and the course was looped, so we ran 3 5k distance laps.  Oof.  Overall, glad I got up and at it on a rainy morning.

  
Last week was my third radio show with WRBI.  I did a segment on “Satisfying Your Summer Sweet Tooth.”  If you guys are interested, I can turn that same information into a blog post!

I think the most exciting thing I did over these last 2 weeks was the Indiana Spartan Sprint on Saturday.  It was touch, muddy, and included too many burpees.  I’ll have a full recap coming ‘atcha on Friday!  For now, here’s a before pic and a muddy pic of the group at the finish.

   
 Other notable eats from the last 2 weeks include:

This super tasty meal of BBQ baked panko chicken + salad + fries.

  
Snack night at Braxton with Queen City Running Club.  After 5 sweaty miles, an icy cold beer plus lots of snacking was in order.

   
 Pizza at Cork and Cap Hyde Park.  This was seriously amazing.

  
One of Anne’s banana pancakes topped with candied pecans, peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt, and strawberries.  Almost felt like dessert!  

Some amazing desk lunches at work–leftover pulled pork salad + potatoes and lemon cod + kale salad + tomatoes.  DELISH.

   
  

Tell me, what have you been up to recently? 

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Hyde Park Blast Recap + Other Adventures

You guys!  Saturday was my 6th Hyde Park Blast.  This fun, 4 mile race has a special place in my heart.  Back in June 2011, I decided I needed to get back into running.  I had always used my knees as an excuse but no more.  I decided that day if I could run this 4 mile race with no hiccups, I would sign up for my first half marathon.  The rest is history.  That hot, humid day in 2011 is mostly a blur, but I remember feeling accomplished when I crossed the finish line.  While it was hands down one of my slowest races of all time, I felt like crossing 13.1 off the theoretical bucket list was a realistic thing!  For your viewing pleasure, here’s a photo of me and my mom at the event in 2013 (my third blast).


Another thing I love about this race is that it’s become a really cool way for me to see how far my level of fitness has come through slowly but surely getting faster every summer.  I have a hard time believing that I was ever this slow, but online race results doesn’t lie!

2011- 44:07
2012- 42:46
2013- 38:30
2014- 35:40
2015- 42:15 (the chip time didn’t work during this one, so I’m not sure what my exact time was!)
2016- 32:31 (PR!)

  
So I guess spoiler alert already, I PR’d this weekend.  Although the super fun part about that PR is that my goal was really just to finish.  As of today, training for the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, IN has begun, and my goal for the blast was to finish.  My training plan had me scheduled to run 12 miles Saturday, which I wasn’t feeling, but knew I needed to get a few extra miles in, so I turned what could have been a 1 mile warm-up jog to the start line into a 3 mile adventure run from my apartment.

Love the smell of fresh donuts before 7am.


Free TVs anyone?


I felt like it would have been bad luck to run through the finish area prior to even running the race so I ran around it.

I found my running pals, Mary included and we were off to the start.  I’ve been a big proponent recently of running based off of feel, so I didn’t have any real goals for this race.  When the gun went off, I felt good so I started booking it.  Then, some of the hills started killing me.  I slowed back just a bit and caught up with Mary.  I used her pace as motivation to keep moving quick for the rest of the race.


Even though I run this race every year, and I live a mile a way from the start, I always forget just how brutal the hills feel when moving at a faster race pace.  Oof!  Here are  two photos of Mary and I trudging along.


 Take a look at that elevation map.  See what I mean!? 

 
Before we knew it, 4 miles were done.  PRs for me and Mary!  Awesome.  Our friend Katie placed in the top 50 women in a 3000 runner field and Todd beat his goal time.  Everyone crushed it.  Go team.


 The activity didn’t stop with the blast.  Next on the agenda was Yelp’s Kick Off to Summer event at 50 West Production Works for some free craft beer and a sand volleyball tournament.  My team placed second, and my friend Julie’s team won!


 The rest of the day was spent wandering around town, which led us back to Hyde Park to watch the Chariot Races and some of the cycling.  So fun!  My legs are definitely sore this morning.

Who else enjoyed the sunshine this weekend?

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Weekly Food + Fitness + Life in 9 Pictures

  1. Two Blue Apron Meals!  
    This Peruvian chicken recipe with green beans (+ extra spinach from my fridge for good measure.    
    An arepa party!
  2. Volunteering in the community–always wonderful when I can return to my old stomping ground, the Freestore Foodbank 
  3. Blood orange + key lime Yagoot topped with crunch topping (brown sugar + cashew + coconut).  So good, I have another yogurt date planned for tonight!  
  4. Satisfied a breakfast craving.  
  5. Feasted after run club at 50 West Production Works.  Nothing beats an out and back run on the bike trail followed by good food, great beer, and fun people.  Can’t wait to return for the Yelp Elite event tomorrow–I’ll definitely be trying out the sand volleyball 🙂  
  6. A Blue Ash bootcamp.  This one killed my hamstrings.  
  7. The most random breakfast:  dark chocolate almonds + cherries + grapes + an egg  

Best thing you saw, did or ate this week?  Tell me!

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Why Having a Workout Buddy is Almost as Important as Working Out

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Posing pre-marathon with two of my favorite workout buddies!

As a registered dietitian and fitness enthusiast, I frequently find my peers and patients asking me how I stay motivated and inspired to fit in physical activity.  The truth is, it’s always a challenge because some days, you just don’t feel like it.  Just because I am well educated on the reasons I should be working out, doesn’t mean it’s easy to push myself to work out every day.  Want to learn how I find accountability with my fitness routine?  Head over to my blogger friend Jess’s blog, Dietitian Jess, where I’ve shared a guest post on this very topic.

Happy rainy Thursday everyone… it’s almost Friday!

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Why Early Morning Running Is My New Favorite Thing

Happy Monday morning everyone!  Is it just me, or does the weekend always end too quickly?  I had a nice one, specifically because I got to spend Saturday catching up with my brother; he moves to Seattle next week!  I also got to hit up the Hyde Park Farmers market and that always puts a smile on my face.

  
So these past few weeks, I’ve been making it a pretty permanent part of my workout routine to squeeze in some early morning runs before work.  That’s right, I said early.  When I run in the morning, I’ve gotta be moving by 5:15 or 5:30.  Ridiculously early, I know.  I used say that that waking up before 5:20 AM was too early and I wouldn’t do it.  I also used to roll my eyes at the 5:00 AM runners I’d drive by on days I used to go in to work at 6:00 AM.  Things change though, and these early runs have actually become my favorite thing.  Here’s why:

  1. After I finish, it’s usually just after 6AM, and I feel BADASS because I’ve accomplished something awesome, while most people are still sleeping.  
  2. It’s calm and quiet outside.  I have most of the streets to myself and have time to just think and release any stress from my week.
  3. Because recently, I feel like I’m chasing the sun.  I start around 5:15, and by the time I finish, the sun has completely risen.  I get to see the world wake up right before my eyes.  
  4. The sun rises early now so recently, there has been less of a need for my reflective gear.  Three cheers for safety!  
  5. Now that the sun has started rising earlier and the temps are warmer, all my fellow Hyde Park neighbors are joining me for runs.  While I typically do my early AM runs solo, it’s fun and motivating to see so many other runners hitting the pavement at ridiculously early times.
  6. Weekend warriors!  My fellow neighbors come out to run early on weekends too.  Case and point?  I had to work Saturday and ran at 5:45 am.  SO MANY other runners were out.  It was surprising to me that so many individuals in the area had such incredible motivation to get up and at it on a weekend morning.   LOVE IT.  
  7. Finally, who else feels like they can conquer the world after an early morning run?  It sets a nice tone for the rest of the day.
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Fun Week of Workouts

It’s Friday.  YAY!  This week has flown by and I’m certain part of that is because I’ve had so many fun things going on, including some new to me workout classes in the Cincinnati area that have helped me to deviate from my regular routine.  I’ve been trying to make it a priority to incorporate more strength training into my workout routine because I used to experience the benefits when I was an avid bootcamp goer.  I just haven’t been as proactive about fitting it into my schedule until recently.  I’ve discovered some fun new workout facilities around town and had time this week to check them out.

First stop?  Cincy 360 Fitness.  This gym was a new to me option in the area.  I discovered it through word of mouth.  Some running buddies of mine had mentioned that they tried a class and were super sore from it.  Awesome.  Sounds like what I was looking for.  After doing some investigating, I discovered you can try your first class out free.  Sold.  I signed up for the Cincy Circuits class Monday evening and was excited to experience a new workout.  Circuit workouts happen to be some of my favorite.  I love how you are moving through various stations and do a variety of movements and exercise, maintain a high heart rate, but never get bored.  The structure of this class was awesome–the first circuit was 8 strength exercises focusing on upper body and core.  We rotated through the circuit 3 times and spent 40 seconds on each station with 20 seconds to rest and move to the next station.  The second circuit was mostly legs and plyometrics, or as the instructor called it, her cardio circuit.  I certainly understand why too!  This really shot my heart rate up.  We rotated through the circuit 3x, but this time did each exercise for 30 seconds since these were much more intense exercises (think burpees and box jumps).  The instructor was really friendly and provided modifications and demos as needed.  You can pay to “drop in” here so I’ll definitely be back for another workout soon!

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My favorite workout of the week was definitely last night.  I attended the Yelp Quirks Out event at Corestrong in Covington, KY!  As a Yelp Elite, I am so thankful to get access to events like this just for sharing honest reviews of local business on the site.  I had never heard of Corestrong prior to this event but it’s safe to say I’ll want to return.  This studio was located in a warehouse type setting.  They have the Indo-Rowers which are powered by water, they have TRX Suspension Training, sleds, battle ropes, tires, boxing bags and a variety of other equipment to prevent members from getting bored.

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Loved the modern feel of this facility too.  While it was in a warehouse type setting, they definitely gave the gym a more upscale feel.  The class offered free to Yelpers was essentially a sampling of everything they offered.  We divided up into 4 groups and rotated through each for 10-15 minutes at a time.  The instructors here know what they are doing because they certainly got the room sweating in a matter of minutes.  We all started warming up together.

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Then, my group started on the TRX.  Loved the inspirational quotes on the walls.  TRX training is one of my favorite ways to incorporate strength exercises into my routine.  I’m always sore after.

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Next up, boxing.  I’ve done kickboxing classes before but never using a bag.  This was fun and really got my heart racing.  Third stop?  Rowing!  I’m not very good at these.  I’ve tried the Indo-Rowers a few times before at another gym and the instructor there has tried to help me improve my form but I tend to overthink the motions.  I know if I could improve my form, this would be a sweat dripping workout all by itself.

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Last up were the sleds.  I’ve never pushed a sled without weights before.  While it was still super tough, it was fun to see how fast  I could move while pushing it.  After the 4 stations, one of the instructor lead us through some cool down yoga.  Then we hopped back on the rowers for Glow Row!  They turned out all the lights, gave us glow sticks, and had us compete in races in teams.  Super fun.  Your first week at Corestrong is free so it’s safe to say I’ll be back.  I’m not sure if I’ll invest in a membership quite yet because it is pricey, however,  with all the different options it’s safe to say this provides some great variety to any workout routine!

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Anyone else try some fun new workouts this week?  Where is your favorite fitness class?

 

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Thursday Thoughts – Marathon Edition

As I sit here and type this up before the crack of dawn this morning, I can only help but reflect on all the exciting, but at the same time, overwhelming thoughts racing through my head.  The day has barely even started yet and I know it’s going to be a tough one considering how distracted I’ve been as of late.  That can only mean one thing:  race day is less than 48 hours away.  OH BOY.  While I’m only a recreational runner, I take my long distance races seriously.  I think it would be silly not to, considering how much time, effort and money gets invested into each training season to run one race.  I thought I’d share some Thursday Thoughts with you all, things that I’ve been thinking about all week leading up to race day.

  1. The BLOOD, SWEAT, and TEARS will be worth it.  At least I keep telling myself that.   First and foremost, I keep trying myself to really focus on positivity.  It’s helped me through some really long runs, so I have to believe remaining positive will get me through this marathon.  Success rate aside, holding a positive attitude is easier said than done, and I’m trying my best to push through the negative thoughts where I tell myself I can’t do it.  The blood, sweat and tears will be WORTH it.  I’ve been through some pretty brutal training runs this season and they’ve all helped to prepare me for this race.  Harder, faster, better, stronger, #AmIRight?

  2. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself.  It’s something I’m continually working on and I think running has allowed me to see that.  This race isn’t a life or death situation and the pressure I put on my back adds extra stress and anxiety to my life I don’t need.  However, I’ve got a really specific goal in mind for this race and it would feel incredible to reach that goal!  I’ve been in shape to run this time for the other marathons I’ve completed but I’ve never been as adequately trained for 26.2 as I am right now.  So… pressure on?  Yes.  But,  I need to remember that and remain positive about the potential results of Saturday (Good or Bad).  I’ve also noticed that this pressure tends to remove the joy from running.  Runs like the one I had on Tuesday remind me why running is so joyful and why this kind of pressure is silly.


    3.  Listen to your body.  That’s what I’ve been focusing on this week.  I declared Tuesday to be my final run before race day and I’m getting antsy at that thought.  I’ve been so used to my routine of running before or after work that I’ve had to find other ways to fill my time–walks with friends and reading has definitely helped!  I made Tuesday my last run day because I know how long it can take for my legs to recover even from the slowest, shortest of runs.  I’m instead trying to focus on light walks and elliptical training, and of course Yoga.  Yoga seems to help a little with my distracted mind as well.  While I’m getting antsy, I need to listen to my body and keep reminding myself taking it easy this week will hopefully allow me to light and breezy Saturday morning.  Hopefully breezier than I felt at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!


    4.  Remain focused on diet and nutrition–this of all weeks is the week to practice what I preach.  I’ve never been this focused on what I’m putting in my body.  To be quite frank, I’ve never been a proponent of obsessively meal planning or tracking foods eaten throughout the day, but with race day coming up, I’ve been overly conscious (or paranoid) of my dietary choices.  This paranoia is new to me as I don’t frequently worry about much in my life.  This week specifically,  I’m focusing on whole, fresh foods, specifically emphasizing healthy carbs, fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats.  I also gave up alcohol on April 15th as another way to prepare my body for this race.  The diet part has been mostly easy as I typically eat balanced meals anyway (besides eliminating my after work, pre-run snack ritual of oreos and tortilla chips).  The alcohol part has been the most challenging, but hopefully most rewarding of the sacrifices I’ve made.  From family dinners, to Jewish Holidays, to running group cookouts and birthday parties, it’s certainly been a struggle to say no to all alcohol, especially when surrounded by peers enjoying a beverage.


    5.  I’m going on a mini vacation!  I’ve never really been further south in Kentucky than Covington (which really doesn’t count and is closer to me than many Cincinnati suburbs) so I’m excited to reward my solid efforts with good food and drink.  Plus, bourbon tours!  I can’t wait.


Tell me.  Where should I eat after the race?  What’s your favorite bourbon tour?  Who else gets pre-race jitters (especially since this is a new to me feeling)?

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