Tag Archives: running

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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Spartan Sprint

I think I promised you guys this review last week so apologies for the delay!  Last weekend, I participated in the Spartan Sprint.  Participation in this event was a last minute decision for our group, and one I’d consider making again.  For those unfamiliar, the Spartan race series involves grueling obstacles over the course of trail filled miles and crossing the finish line covered in mud is mandatory.  This type of event is one where consistent strength training in your weekly routine would help you be more prepared, but individuals of all shapes and sizes were up and at it on the course.  For the sprint distance, 4.8 miles were on the agenda and let me tell you, it was tough.  We faced steep up and downhills (it took place on a ski resort after all), lots of mud, 8 foot walls to climb over, monkey bars, and even a fire pit to jump over at the finish.  This was hands down one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  It took over 3 hours and just about every ounce of energy I had.  I’ll tell you one thing though, that post-race beer sure was refreshing.  Since it was way too muddy to carry a camera with me on the course, I will rely on the free, professional photos that the Spartan Series made available to event participants.  If you’re looking for a fun way to challenge yourself that isn’t running, a Spartan race is the way to do it.

Here’s the crew before we started. No mud!  That will change.   

Trudging through an over flooded creek.  Lots of super muddy “quick sand” like spots along the way for an added challenge!  

In between all of this, there were barbed wire fences we had to crawl in the mud to avoid, large walls to climb over, and even monkey bars to fall off of.  It’s safe to say I was stuck doing a lot of burpees.  For those unfamiliar, if you skip an obstacle or are unable to finish the obstacle, you are required to do 30 burpees.  Over 25 obstacles, I think I did 180 burpees.  Oof.

This was probably one of the worst.  Had fill this bucket up with what felt like a ton of rocks, and carry it up, then back down a steep ski slope.

 
Finally, the fire.  We wanted an epic, holding hands photo, as we jumped over the fire.  I ruined that.  I was terrified I wasn’t going to make it over and let go.  I think you can see the fear in my eyes.

 
It’s fine though, because everyone started cheering for me and I made it over.

 
Victory looks like mud.  Safe to say we all wanted to shower.

  
 
A few tips I’d suggest if you decide to do one of these bad boys:  do it with a group so you can help each other with the obstacles.  My team / random good people were crucial in my ability to make it over some of the walls we climbed.  I’d also suggest going in knowing your limits.  I love that I pushed myself to try things I’d never done before, but don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t think you can handle.  

I’m a Spartan now!  What’s the hardest rave you’ve ever done??

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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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5 Things Friday!

TGIF, Friends!  This week has been incredibly busy between deadlines at work, and evening commitments after work.  Some highlights for the week include Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe and volunteering (then indulging later) at my favorite Cincinnati fundraiser, Taste of the NFL.  I’ll have full recaps on both those events coming at ya next week but I thought I’d share 5 food and fitness tidbits from my week so you can get a glimpse of how I’ve managed to find balance amidst the chaos!

  1.  I made it two times to P/E class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  Every time I go, I realize how much I miss having the time to attend all 5 early AM classes.  Per usual, Andrew designed some killer workouts, and my hamstrings definitely felt it yesterday when I tried to run.   
  2. Taste of the NFL!  I love that I’m on the volunteer list for this event.  Not only do I get to support a great cause, but I get to taste some of Cincy’s best eats.  I think the last time I felt that full was Thanksgiving dinner.  Standouts for me were obviously the dishes that included donuts, but more to come on that next week 🙂   
  3. Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe was a winner in my book.  I love supporting local business, especially those with coffee, so learning the history behind the business and getting to taste some of their menu offerings was a real treat. 
  4. After a week of indulging, I was in major need of something green.  It’s rare that I crave kale–those who know me best know it’s not a favorite food of mine–but when I saw the kale salad in the cafe at work today, I knew it would hit the spot.  Paired this salad up with some hummus and wheat crackers.  Perfect satisfying, healthy lunch. 
  5. A patient told me yesterday, “God gave us taste buds for a reason.”  Couldn’t agree more.  Food is meant to be enjoyed and every now and then, we may have a week where we overindulge, but finding balance and getting back on track is the real key to staying on the healthy lifestyle wagon.

What are your taste buds planning to enjoy this weekend?  A new recipe?  A new restaurant?  A favorite food? 

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Memorial Day Things

Hi Friends.  Gosh.  I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.  I have a proposal:  all weekends should be long ones.  It gives you time to do fun things and relax all while making the week fly by.  I feel like zero people would argue with a 4 day workweek.  Let’s make it a thing!  This is going to be one of those posts where I over share details of my long weekend with you.  Are you ready?

My weekend was filled with all the outside activities, starting out Saturday morning with the Clippard YMCA 5K sponsored by my running club.  Because I’m in summer training with Queen City running, my entry for this race was covered.  Since free is my favorite price, I was pretty stoked.  Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous prior to this race.  It’s been what feels like decades since I’ve actually raced a 5K.  I didn’t even know what my PR was.  Anyways, my friend Katie and I showed up bright and early to pick up our packets.  Almost too early.  We didn’t realize how small and casual this race was.  It was a very small field of runners, maybe 200 people tops, so there was no reason to arrive an hour before the race.  Regardless, we took advantage of that extra time to squeeze in a mile warm up jog and some stretching.  Since this race was so casual, they just had everyone line up together at the start in the parking lot, and had all the sub-9 minute milers line up in the front.  Hey!  That’s me!

  
And off we went!  The course was flat for the first mile and then the second 2 miles were very hilly.  This course was very small and very casual like I said, and they forgot to mark one of the turns, so some of the super fast runners missed one of the turns… oops!  Since I had a turn-doc, I didn’t miss the turn, but I could see how easy it would have been to follow the crowds.  Throughout the whole race, I was neck and neck with the second place female.  It was a fun feeling running a smaller race, knowing the entire time it was very likely I would place!  There was no chip timing for this race, it was all done by the gun, the old fashioned way.  I crossed the finish line about 9 seconds after the second place female in 24:09 (7:54 pace).  I’ve never placed outside of my age group category in a race before, so snagging the 3rd place overall female award was pretty exciting, even if my time wouldn’t have held it’s own at a larger 5K.  And shout out to Katie!  She placed first!  Our prizes you ask?  YMCA memberships.  Cool!

 

 
After there race, I rushed home to change as some of my college friends were coming to town for a visit.  First on the agenda?  Checking out the brand new rooftop patio at Rheingeist.  The space is super welcoming and perfect for hanging out.  I’ll be back all summer long.  

Next stop?  Taste of Cincinnati.  This event happens every Memorial Day Weekend in the Queen City and I rarely attend.  Why?  It’s always super hot, sticky and crowded.  But visitors in town meant I had to show them some of Cincy’s best!  After sampling a few small bites (a taco from Red Sesame – DELISH, and Bella Luna’s bread pudding)  it was back to Over the Rhine!

  
 My friend Sarah is just as Holtman’s obssesed as I am, and she had to get her fix while in town.  I will never argue with a donut run followed by window shopping so of course I was down.

 
After a long nap back at my place, a late dinner was in order.  After spending the day in the heat, a light meal sounded tasty so I suggested E + O.  They are normally packed, however we snagged a seat on the patio lounge right away.  Awesome.  I ate here last month for a friend’s birthday and while the service disappointed then, the food did not.  Tonight the food was just as spectacular.  We tried a few things and shared.  The brussels sprout salad is my favorite, but the edamame guac and the sushi rolls were delish as well.  Plus, my margarita was super refreshing.  It had egg white in it which added a thicker mouthfeel to it.  I’m not sure if I loved it or not, but it definitely hit the spot.

   
   
After such a jam packed Saturday, I wanted Sunday to be slow.  Coffee emporium + Farmers Market were on the agenda.  Then lot’s of time spent hanging out on the couch.  Then, my visitors had to head home.  So sad.  Come back soon, Sarah and Molly!

  
Monday was the laziest of days.  After meeting up with Katie in the morning for a hot, sticky, humid, 6 mile run, I showered and headed over to Katie’s pool.  I think laying out poolside for half the day backfired because I got terribly sun burnt.  Oops!  After the pool, I headed over to my parents house to grill out.  On the menu?  An ice cold beer served with BBQ chicken, corn, zucchini and some good ‘ole blue oven bread.  Hit’s the spot every time.

    

What did you do this Memorial Day weekend?  What was the best thing you ate?

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Weekdays Can Be Weekends Too

Happy Wednesday aka hump day, friends!  For me, Wednesdays are hands down the longest day of the week for me to power through, so I always love starting it out with a solid workout.  Per my usual Wednesday morning routine, I hit up Andrew’s P/E (power and endurance) class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  While it’s slightly out of the way for me now, this class is hands down one of my favorites and a great value at $6 dollars for a drop-in fee.  Plus, I used to be a regular back in 2014, where I attended 4-5 mornings a week!  So, it’s always a good time seeing some familiar faces :).  Andrew organized a killer workout this morning.  I think the hardest part was the third tabata we did–instead of the traditional 10 seconds of rest between rounds, we did wall sits.  Ooof!  Super challenging.  As always, loved the puns on the workout board and the high energy of class.  Can’t wait until next Wednesday!

  
I wanted to pop in today to tell you why I think treating your weekdays like weekends is a good thing.  That’s right.  The world we live in is incredibly fast paced, over-scheduled, and full of constant, non-stop activity.  My life is no exception to this.  Sometimes, this can lead our weekends to feel just as busy as weekdays and no time for relaxation with loved ones.  In an effort to try and be a more positive thinker, I’ve come to the realization that slowing down can be a good thing.  I read this post a few weeks back and realized what a great concept it described:  Making our weekdays feel more like the weekend.

  
I spend every day of my workweek looking forward to Saturday, my one guaranteed day off each week.  I look forward to taking my time in the morning, getting in a great workout, enjoying a delicious breakfast or brunch I might not normally indulge in (or have time for) during the week, and in general, moving slower.  Weekends are also great because they involve more mental relaxation and time spent with friends.  Weekends are also great for downtime.  I read this article from Scientific American recently, that describes why our brains need more downtime.  “Research reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories, and encourage creativity.”  Mental breaks can look different for everyone.  For me sometimes it’s curling up with a good book.  Sometimes it’s eating a delicious meal outside and just enjoying the quiet and peacefulness.  Sometimes a mental break is a walk to grab coffee with a friend.  These mental breaks can lend towards productivity in the workplace, but can also allow us to have a clear head and positive attitude when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices too.

  
While I can’t say I’ve discovered a true love for meditation, what I have found is that slowing down and allowing myself to enjoy activities I traditionally save for weekends has allowed me to think more clearly, positively and remain more productive and motivated to accomplish goals during the workweek–work goals, fitness goals and even health & nutrition goals.  I gave this idea a shot on Monday, because we all know Mondays can be tough, and it worked out really great.  From moving just a touch slower and making a real effort to incorporate things into my day that provided mental breaks from my work tasks, I was really able to end the day feeling positive and refreshed, even though I spent 9 of those hours at work.

  
In an effort to move slower, Monday started out sleeping in an extra 15 minutes until 5:30 AM.  While it seems silly, allowing myself the extra 15 minutes made a huge difference!  After waking up and enjoying my coffee with a dose of NBC news on the side, I did a 25 minute circuit in my apartment.  Normally, I wouldn’t have time for this, but I knew that working out helps me to clear my head and start the day on a positive foot, so I was happy to make time for some movement.  I did a few tabatas and EMOMs (every minute on the minute) and then made breakfast.  I have been craving bacon for weeks now, and it’s typically a weekend food for me, but since I was trying to have a “weekend” kinda mindset, I went with it.  Breakfast was soaked oats, fruit and extra crispy bacon.  This meal left me so, so happy.

  
Later that day, I decided to take a work break and squeeze in a walk + coffee date with a friend instead of my traditional lunch break where I snack at my desk.  The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze.  It felt absolutely incredible to grab an iced latte and breathe in some fresh air.  It made all the difference in my day.  After work, I went straight to the park to meet up with my friend Mary for a run.  Normally, I probably wouldn’t go to a park on a weeknight, just for sake of time, but in an effort to incorporate more interesting and exciting activities into my day, I was excited to go see how the development of Summit Park was going.  We did 4 easy miles on the loop that surrounds the park before our good form running clinic that was meeting at the park later that evening.  Wandering and exploring the park prior to the clinic was a fun way to slow things down too!

 

unintentional twinning

  
 The day ended with the Bachelorette  premier + pizza with Mary.  Pizza is normally a weekend food for me, but in honor of treating Monday like the weekend, and JoJo, why not?

  
What did I learn from slowing down my Monday?  Well it didn’t impact my productivity negatively, and I ended the day feeling more refreshed, less stressed, and overall more positive about my week.  While slowing down every day isn’t a realistic goal for me, I will be making a more conscious effort to incorporate more positive activities into my days to make them more interesting and exciting.

  
Your turn, how would you make a Monday feel like the weekend?  What are your tips and tricks for slowing down?

 

 

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